by Anthony from France
I will tell you about Voltaire. He is a famous French writer born in 1694, and he died in 1778. He wrote many criticisms and tales like Candide, l'Ingenu and Zadig. He was sent to jail twice because he spoke out against people's behaviour (like Louis XIV). That's why he decided to live for three years in London; he considered England like the "country of freedom". After that he lived a short period of time in Germany and then he came back to France, but not to Paris, in order to be far from the power.
From my point of view, Voltaire is a hero because he was a precursor in his way of thinking. Indeed he belonged to the XVIII century, the Age of Enlightment, with Diderot or d'Alembert. He denounced many things like the Protestants' problem who were obliged to leave France if they didn't want to be imprisoned. In fact he wanted all people to be equal. That's why he denounced injustice and slavery. He was also committed against dictatorship after Louis XIV's death because this great king had nevertheless established a sort of dictatorship in France.
Nowadays, everybody in France knows Voltaire, given that he is a famous writer. Unfortunately nobody considers him like a hero because they don't know exactly what he realized. On the contrary they prefer Zinedine Zidane who just did his job! Is it really important to be a world champion? I think that someone who participated in changing our ancestors' minds is more important than the best footballer in the world. I know that Zidane is committed to helping people but it isn't as important as Voltaire's acts.
In fact, I would like people to remember that many people fought for the common good. Indeed Voltaire's point of view influenced the United States' Bill of Rights and the French Revolution in 1789. Unfortunately he died in 1778, only eleven years before this date. What a shame!
Nowadays in most countries, Voltaire's ideas are adopted. That's why we can consider him as a precursor at that time. Moreover in 1799 he was transfered in the Panthéon in Paris, where important French people are to rest in peace. He was also considered as a hero in his time. We shouldn't forget it.
Page created on 3/25/2007 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 9/11/2018 2:42:20 PM
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- Chateau de Cirey, Residence of Voltaire