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Candide by Francoise Marie Arouet - Voltaire Essay

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“Candide” was a satire written in 1759 by François-Marie Arouet (commonly referred to as Voltaire) and published that same year by The Cramer Brothers. I believe our teachers wanted us to read this satire because of how deeply you need to analyze what it’s saying. It is certainly not a book you can afford to skim. It took me reading most chapters up to four times to actually understand what took place. I believe this is a great thing because this way I don’t read a 500 page, easy to understand book that leaves no impression on me, but a 30 page, complicated book which really makes me think and want to read it again. For example, Chapter 11, “The History of the Old Woman” was a really complex chapter. This is an example of one I have read 4-5 times and still find new meaning each time I read it. The Old Woman is telling her story and all the terrible things she witnessed and underwent growing up such as the murder of her fiancé and being raped along with her mother. It is a great skill to be able to critically think about a book and that is why this book was chosen.
This book is useful to our course of studies because it directly references many philosophies we are learning about and takes place in 18th Century. Pangloss, one of the satire’s main characters is a reference to philosphers who debate subjects that have no real effect on the world, “idle thinkers”. If you look at the name of Pangloss’ school, “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology” it clearly mocks Pangloss’ teachings and questions his legitimacy. Over the past couple months; we have been learning a great deal about philosophy and different ways to think. Towards the end of “Candide”, he finally realizes that not all in the world is ultimately good (or bad) but you ca...


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...sar, such as the articulation of Caesar being much higher than that of Cassius in how he can get the same point across in 10 lines with no repeating or speech mistakes whereas Cassius needs pages of room to make the same point. These skills are something that really will help in the future that I may not have if I didn’t read this book so many times.
I would recommend this book to students who are willing to donate time and attention to a book; students who are willing to look for deeper meaning and analyze everything that happens. It is not for someone who doesn’t enjoy thinking critically and testing their patience. They will not enjoy this book at all for though it seems short, it will actually take a long time of re-reading lines and looking up definitions of words to make sure you get the full experience. If they are willing to do all this, it is a great read.



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