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Loss of Innocence in Candide by Voltaire Essay

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In the novel Candide written by Voltaire there are several symbols throughout the story. One of those symbolic figures that seems to stand out in the story is the character Candide, a gullible and innocent boy who experiences many hardships after being vanished from the castle of the baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh. Candide seems to be a representation of people's innocence and how they tend to lose it throughout their lifetime as they witness and experience new things in the world and grow wary of the consequences that every different situation may hold. For example, Voltaire mentions in the beginning of the story that “nature had bestowed upon [Candide] the gentlest of dispositions. His countenance expressed his soul” which shows to the reader that Candide is kind and innocent at the beginning and that he has not the slightest intentions of interfering with another persons life in a negative manner (3). However, later on in the story after Candide has killed Don Issachar and the Grand Inquisitor, Candide justifies his murderous behavior to Cunegonde by saying that “when you are in love, and jealous, and have been flogged by the inquisition, there is no knowing what you may do” which demonstrates that the gentle and kind Candide has turned into a murderer as a result of his previous life experiences which in turn provides an excellent example of how people lose their innocence and turn to violence overtime (22).
What Voltaire seems to be suggesting in his novel is that it is only natural for mankind to be born innocent and develop into the evil that this world has to offer as they experience and witness this evil throughout their life and adapt to the world around them. Therefore, Voltaire seems to use the character Candide in hi...


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...mise to only love their husbands or wives and now he had been unfaithful to her with the Marquise. This action by Candide demonstrates how Candide has adapted to the world and how people also adapt to the things that exist.
Candide may have started as an innocent boy that believed the world to be perfect, but he soon adapts his beliefs and opinions to the world around him as he realizes that there is nothing perfect of the world he lives in. This is just how people start their lives in the world and learn to adapt to their surroundings as they experience life. Therefore, Candide can be seen as an interpretation of the life of people by Voltaire in his novel Candide. That is because just like Candide, people adapt to the world through life experiences and may do good and bad things.


Works Cited

Voltaire, and Theo Cuffe. Candide, Or, Optimism. Penguin, 2005. Print.


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