Preview
Preview

Candide by Voltaire Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1725 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Candide

Voltaire’s most classic work, Candide, is a satiric assault on most everything that was prevalent in society during the author’s lifetime. The entire novel can be regarded as a bleak story where every character compares life stories to see whose life is worse. Just when the novel cannot get anymore morbid or depressing, it does, to a much greater degree. While Candide is generally considered a universal denunciation, it is optimism that Voltaire is attacking to the greatest degree. However, there are numerous other satirical themes throughout the novel worth discussing. These other areas of mockery include aristocratic snobbery, religious bigotry, militarism, and human nature.

There is good reason that Voltaire was so fed up with optimism, or more specifically, Leibnizian optimism. During the decade in which Candide was originally composed, this brand of what Voltaire considered ludicrous optimism was in full swing. This branch of optimism gets its name from Gottfried Leibniz, one of the rationale leaders of the day springing off of Descartes. This optimism states that there is evil in the world, but that reason could explain evil. He believed that there were certain truths even God could not alter, such as two plus two equaling four. Since this has to be the case, there were limits when God created the universe, thus he was working with an already flawed system. Leibniz goes on to say that this being the case, a perfect world is impossible, but Earth is the best of all possible worlds. Now, while Voltaire was hearing that everything is for the best from his contemporaries, there were numerous drastic things going on in Europe and his life. There was a tremendous earthquake killing 100,000 people in ...


... middle of paper ...


...deal elsewhere. He is not content to be content; he wants more than that.

However, the main point Voltaire makes at the end of this novel with the garden is that to be content is to be happy. All the characters in the book were searching for happiness and yet always found discontent. It is at the end that finally Candide understands to be happy it is necessary to do something he is content in, and thus finds happiness. This is important to the satire of the whole, because it is Voltaire’s summation of all the criticisms, all that is wrong with society. This book is just an all out attack on society, and uses humor to illustrate his views. It is indeed a finally irony that in the end seriousness that the satirical journey of Candide comes to a close. “Let us cultivate our Garden.” Five short words, Voltaire’s final summation to the great comedy that is Candide.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Voltaire's Candide: The Transformation of Candide Essay - Voltaire's Candide: The Transformation of Candide     Candide (1991), which is another version of "Voltaire" by French writer Francois-Marie Arouet, is a short but diverse story that tells of a young man's journey for love and the hardships he faces all the while keeping a very strong, positive and philosophical outlook on life. The book starts in an unknown year, hinted sometime around the Renaissance, with a young man named Candide. Candide loves the princess of a Baron and is banished from the land because of it....   [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1089 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Effective Satire of Voltaire's Candide Essay - The Effective Satire of Voltaire's Candide      In Candide, Voltaire sought to point out the fallacy of Gottfried Leibniz's theory of optimism and the hardships brought on by the resulting inaction toward the evils of the world. Voltaire's use of satire, and its techniques of exaggeration and contrast highlight the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when men are meekly accepting of their fate. Leibniz, a German philosopher and mathematician of Voltaire's time, developed the idea that the world they were living in at that time was "the best of all possible worlds." This systematic optimism shown by Leibniz is the philosophical system that believed everything already was for...   [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1191 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Voltaire's Candide Character Analysis Essay - Voltaire's Candide Character Analysis Voltaire's Candide seems to display a world of horror, one filled with floggings, rapes, robberies, unjust executions, disease, natural disasters, betrayals and cannibalism. Pangloss, the philosopher, has a constant optimistic view throughout the entire novel even despite all of the cruelty in the world. While looking back on the book I couldn't think of many characters that displayed admirable qualities. Even though Pangloss stuck to his views that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, which is admirable, he is stupid and naive to still believe this after everything he and his family goes through....   [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays Papers]
:: 2 Works Cited
1423 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Voltaire's Candide Essay - Voltaire's Candide Voltaire, whose real name was Francois Marie Arouet, was a man whose cynical style of writing brought attention upon himself, both in the positive aspect and in the negative. Francois associated himself with a group of politically power-hungry people who held a frantic hatred against the duke of Orleans. He was wrongly believed to have printed two libelous poems that defaced the duke and due to the false accusation he was imprisoned in the Bastille....   [tags: Voltaire Candide] 1025 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Voltaire's Candide Essay - Voltaire's Candide Voltaire uses many writing techniques, which are similar to that of the works of Cervantes, Alighieri, Rabelais and Moliere. The use of the various styles shows that, despite the passing of centuries and the language change, certain writing techniques will always be effective. One common literary technique is the author's use of one or more of his characters as his own voice to speak out the authors own views on certain subjects. For instance, in Moliere's Tartuffe, the author uses the character of Cleante to speak out against religious hypocrites: "Nothing that I more cherish and admire than honest zeal and true religious fire....   [tags: Voltaire Candide ] 1186 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Use of Satire in Voltaire's Candide Essay - Successful Use of Satire in Voltaire's Candide Voltaire's Candide is the story of how one man's adventures affect his philosophy on life. Candide begins his journey full of optimism that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds," but he learns that it is naïve to say that good will eventually come of any evil.  Voltaire successfully uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about many aspects of European society in the eighteenth century.  He criticizes religion, the evils found in every level of society, and a philosophy of optimism when faced with an intolerable world.  Candide portrays religious persecution as one of the most worst aspects of society.  Voltaire rejects...   [tags: Candide essays Voltaire ]
:: 2 Works Cited
1563 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
A Freudian Analysis of Voltaire's Candide Essay - A Freudian Analysis of Voltaire's Candide       In Civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud refers to the important role that love plays in the world of Man. Love certainly plays an important role in Voltaire's Candide; throughout Candide's journeys, a constant factor is his love for Lady Cunegonde and his desire to be with her. Freud writes "the way of life which makes love the centre of everything [...] comes naturally to all of us," (Freud, p. 29). Candide's love for Cunegonde is the driving force of his life from the moment they are parted at the beginning of the novel until they are bonded in marriage at the end....   [tags: Candide Voltaire Freud Essays Papers]
:: 2 Works Cited
1635 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Voltaire's Candide Essay - Voltaire's Candide Throughout the novel, Candide, Voltaire repeatedly exploits the nature of humans to consider other's situations and lifestyles to be better than that of their own. Voltaire uses Candide's journeys to portray the human assumption that the grass is always greener on the other side. This theme is shown in Candide's strife for companionship, his experience with wealth, and his interaction with other characters. The situations that develop the theme do so in such a way that the reader is able to understand and relate to the aspirations of Candide....   [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays] 826 words
(2.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Voltaire's Candide - Voltaires's Candide In Voltaires?s Candide, the main character, Candide, fails to live happily because he is looking outside of himself and his circumstances to do it. Voltaire says through Candide's ultimate discovery that happiness in many ways depends on a person's attitude. Voltaire's philosophy expressed through Candide's final realization is that "We must cultivate our garden," which is the key to happiness(p.585). By cultivating our garden, Voltaire means that we must make the best of our situation in the present moment....   [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1143 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Voltaire's Candide - Voltaire's Candide Voltaire’s masterpiece has been read delightfully and with much interest by many people since its scarcely secret publication in Geneva and Paris (1759). When it was first published, there were about twenty copies, most of which were pirated. When Voltaire died (1778) there were already more than fifty, and later on it became the best seller of the eighteenth century. It is true that the local conditions have changed since Candide was written. English admirals are not shot any more as a lesson in military perseverance....   [tags: Voltaire Candide Literature History Essays] 3530 words
(10.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]