Candide, written by Voltaire, is a wonderful novella in which the main character faces a myriad number of diverse opinions concerning his beliefs of religion and philosophy. Candide is a practical man who in his youthful innocence learns first hand the many evils of society. The utopian society of Eldorado and some of the characters in the story challenge his beliefs threatening to make him a changed man.
Religion as a whole plays a crucial role in the story; the contrast between the author’s religious and philosophical beliefs and those he portrays throughout the novel, specially those of Eldorado, affect the mood, themes, and characterization of the novel. The city of Eldorado boasts a utopian society where everyone is equal, there are no wars, and everyone has everything they could ever dream of. When questioned by Candide about which god their people worshiped the elder of the city replied, “There is only one God, not two, or three, or four.
What odd questions you foreigners ask! (Voltaire 77)” The society believes in one higher being to whom they praise, worship, and thank every hour of every day. Contrary to the religion of the people of Eldorado the uthor of the novel, Voltaire, “While affirming the existence of a deity, had little comprehension of religion and bitterly attacked the Christian faith with every resource of wit and satire. Harvey 754)” Voltaire beliefs and those of Eldorado differ because while his God “did not resemble the God of the Judeo-Christian faith, he was a vague impersonal being with no particular concerns for the affairs of men. ” (Edwards 266); the people of Eldorado have strong beliefs in one god and thank him for his intervention that creates for them their very own paradise.