Sydell Mejia Prof. Goulding EN202-21 2/25/10 Importance of Reason The Enlightment age was a very important time period; it started in the eighteen century. This age was also known as the age of reason. Men of this age felt they were "Enlightened" group. They believed they were coming to their senses, educated men of this time thought that the universe was logical, rational, and reasonable, and this could even out a man's modern passions and actions. They had the beliefs that they had come closer to any other age to figure out how the universe and men worked and how to live more a good life more reasonably.
The Enlightenment also challenged many of the former ideas, one of which was ignorance. Orgon in Moliere’s, Tartuffe, exemplifies the idea of ignorance, due to the fact he is ignorant of Tartuffe’s true character. DORINE: “There was that headache Madame had the day you left. Well, it got really bad. She had a fever”. ORGON: “And Tartuffe? " DORINE: “He’s fine- Rosy nose and red cheeked, drinking your wine. ” ORGON: “Poor Man! ”(1. 4. 8-14). Although Orgon hears news about his ill wife, he only shows his care towards Tartuffe. He also fails to recognize that Tartuffe is tricking them and is not thinking as reasonably as Cleante is.
In Act I, scene 5, Cleante is trying to talk sense into Orgon; he is the voice of reason in this scene. Cleante accuses Orgon of being unable to distinguish hypocrisy and true devotion to the family. He tells Orgon that his love of Tartuffe is unrealistic, and attempts to “enlighten” him about Tartuffe's true character: Cleante: “Orgon, listen, You’re out of your mind. / Or you’re mocking me. Or both combined. / How can you speak such nonsense without blinking? ” (1. 5. 73-75). Although Cleante knows that Orgon is wrapped around his feelings for Tartuffe.
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Orgon believes so strongly in Tartuffe's piety and goodness that he is willing to sacrifice the happiness of his daughter, therefore thinking unreasonably and affecting his family negatively, such as making his daughter marry someone she does not want to marry, sacrificing the happiness of his daughter. Dorine is another character that presents reason throughout the play. Dorine, Mariane’s maid, is someone with a low social status and because she is a member of the working class, she is portrayed as ignorant in the family because of her low social status.
Although in the play she is of low social status, she is smarter than Orgon and also a lot more reasonable. She is able to point out that Tartuffe is an imposter. Dorine says, “Now there’s a lie that beats everything. / His pretended reverence for our king! ”(5. 7. 25-26). This shows that it does not matter what social class one comes from to determine their level of reason. Dorine is someone from a lower social standing than the family, but yet, is able to socialize and befriend the family she works for. His control affects his family, especially his daughter.
In the play, she is to marry to the man she loves, but when Tartuffe enters the picture, Orgon breaks his promise to her fiance, and tells her she has to marry Tartuffe instead. However, Orgon is challenged by his family, who work to prove Tartuffe is a fake. This is a conflict to the power order of society and brings into question the authority of this order, by the end of the play, Tartuffe turns his back on Orgon and tries to arrest him. He brings an officer of the king back to take Orgon. However, while Tartuffe attempts to get Orgon arrested, the king saw through him and reasoned that Tartuffe was the one to be accused and put to trial.
In his Narrative, Oluadah Equiano, describes in detail his experiences when he was captured and enslaved. In an attempt to persuade the reader of the Englishmen evil actions, Equiano reveals the hypocrisy of European ideas of enlightenment and the dehumanizing nature of slavery. Equiano Olauduah's autobiography, The Interesting Narrative Life of Equiano Olauduah is a unique and intriguing story which includes vivid and great detailed descriptions of the author's life both as a slave and a free black man.
Throughout Equiano's life he encounters many hardships and misery. In the beginning of the narrative, he explains his experience on a slave ship when he was sent away: “These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror when I was carried aboard” (38). He explains his amazement of the new advances throughout the ship but also explains the terror of being on the ship and watching the miserable slaves upon the ship.
He has come in contact with many people of different races, religion and intelligence. Equiano was a well-rounded intelligent black male which many people admired. Although Equiano purchased his freedom and now considered a free man, he still endured man hardships. Works Cited "Age of Reason. " History - AllAboutHistory. org. Web. 20 Feb. 2010. http://www. allabouthistory. org/age-of-reason. htm. Moliere. Tartuffe A New Verse Translation (ED. Norton Critical Editions_)_. New York: W. W. Norton, 2007. Print.
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