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Candide by François-Marie Arouet Essays

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An enlightenment philosopher François-Marie Arouet, commonly known as Voltaire, wrote Candide. Voltaire “was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state (Wikipedia).” He was born November 21st 1694 into an upper-middle class family. Voltaire started showing an interest in writing at a young age. Candide was published in 1579. It was a French Satire. A satire is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues (Oxford Dictionary).” Candide mocks the ideas of the philosopher Leibnitz though the character of Pangloss because Leibnitz believed in an optimistic world and Voltaire feels that thinking this way makes one a hypocrite. Candide defines optimism as “a mania for insisting that all is well when things are going badly (Voltaire, p. 48).” Throughout the book, many themes and symbols are present.
One major theme that is present throughout the whole book is love. Love is what drives Candide through his journey and helps him over the obstacles that he endures. His love for Cunégonde is unconditional and his mind is set on getting to her no matter what problems he may encounter. The second half of Candide takes place in the Utopian society of Eldorado. Eldorado is used to symbolize the ability that is associated with humans to create a non-violent society. It is Voltaire’s perception of an ideal society. Eldorado is perfect, but after a month Candide realizes he cannot be there without Cunégonde, so he sets o...


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...ged and if I hadn’t the misfortune to kill the Baron, I could swear it was them rowing on this galley (Voltaire, p.80).” It was indeed them and they explained the mishap of their deaths and how they weren’t actually killed. I thought this was very interesting that both Pangloss and the Baron were still alive, and no one had any idea.
Throughout Candide the themes of corrupting money and love are present. Candide endures fake friends, gets taken advantage of, and is constantly throwing away his money to dishonest people. Through all of this, he remains on his journey to find Cunégonde because he truly loves her. They all retreat to the garden, which symbolizes a new beginning. They get away from philosophizing too much, and keep themselves busy by cultivating the garden. Throughout life, you have to work for what you want no matter what challenges may come.



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