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Trisha Amin

Trisha Amin on Chapter 10:

Voltaire’s choice to include the statements of the old woman about the reverend’s character illustrates yet another one of Voltaire’s social commentaries on religion during the era in which he lived. The old woman claims that the Reverend Grey Friar stole the money and jewels. The fact that Voltaire chooses a reverend to be the thief demonstrates Voltaire’s view of religious leaders as not being the most pure and honest of men.

Voltaire’s position on religion and opinion on the ranking of religious figures in society are clearly established in Voltaire’s earlier example between the Baptist and Anabaptist (Chapter 3). The Anabaptist proves to be much more humane and generous man than the Baptist who had mistreated Candid over a simple remark. Through both examples, Reverend Grey Friar and the Baptist are displayed in similar terms. They both symbolize the greed and ignorance of men in society which is ironic because these religious figures are supposed to be pure. However, the inclusion of Reverend Grey Friar as another immoral character further establishes Voltaire’s negative vision on religion during this period in time and how, in his opinion, men of high rankings are not always reliable figures.

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