Voltaire's Candide


Length: 1186 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

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. So there is nothing that I find more base than specious piety's dishonest face." In Candide, Voltaire makes use of several characters to voice his opinion mocking philosophical optimism. In the story Candide is asking a gentleman about whether everything is for the best in the physical world as well as the moral universe. The man replies: "I believe nothing of the sort. I find that everything goes wrong in our world, that nobody knows his place in society or his duty, what he's doing or what he ought to be doing, and that outside of mealtimes...the rest of the day is spent in useless quarrels... it's one unending warfare." By having this character take on such a pessimistic tone, he directly contradicts the obviously over optimistic actions of Candide. In the conclusion an old Turk instructs Candide in the futility of needless philosophizing by saying that "the work keeps us from three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty." In all of the examples, the character chosen by the author comes across as a reasonable and respectable person, making the author's point of view seems reasonable and respectable at the same time. Another technique Voltaire uses in Candide is that of taking actual people and events and weaving into his work of fiction. He often does this to mock his political and literary opponents, as shown in the conversation between the Abbe' and the Parisian supper guests. The Abbe' mentions two critics who in Voltaire's time have criticized his work. The critics are referred to as boring and impudent by the supper guests. In much the same manner Alighieri, in The Divine Comedy, has placed many of his enemies in various circles of Hell. One example is when, Dante himself pushes one of his political enemies back down into the swampy waters of the river Styx.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Voltaire's Candide." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Sep 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=168440>.
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]



In Gargantua and Pantagruel, Rabelais mentions a series of textbooks, which are a part of the sort of educational curriculum that he is satirizing. He ridicules their use in that it takes Gargantua so long to learn simple tasks such as memorizing the alphabet. In all of these examples, the authors are able to speak out against people or practices in a way less confrontational than public speaking, as well as state their opinion in a form where they cannot be immediately contradicted.
Voltaire has occasion to use the comedic style of exaggeration in Candide, such as the Baron's sister refusing to marry Candide's father because he can only prove seventy one quartering of his family tree. Later, Candide is sentenced to receive a flogging for having deserted the Bulgar army. He must make thirty six passes through the gauntlet of two thousand troops. More examples of exaggeration can be found in Gargantua and Pantagruel, such as the size of Gargantua's mare saying tat it was as big as six elephants, or the weight of his each of his dumbbells was eight hundred and five tons. Besides being entertaining to read, these exaggerations serve to point out the ridiculousness of an ideal by showing it in an absurdness.
The format in which Candide is written closely resembles that of Cervante's Don Quixote. In both books, the authors have chosen to name each chapter in a descriptive style, the name of the chapter tends to be a brief description of the action that is to take place within it. Compare chapter three of Don Quixote, "Of the amusing manner in which Don Quixote had himself dubbed a knight." With chapter three of Candide, "How Candide Escaped from the Bulgars, and What Became of Him". Alighieri uses this method in The Divine Comedy also, but on a less descriptive level. Each of the cantos in his Divine Comedy has short three or four word descriptions of what happens in the canto. Many chapters in Candide end with some sort of lead in to the next chapter, making the book has a feeling that is similar to today's television serials. This method is used in Don Quixote, but in a much more dramatic fashion. Just as Don Quixote is about to go into battle with the Biscayan, the action is abruptly halted by the narrator who describes how the 'original' author had not finished the story, but that a 'second' author had picked up where the first left off and the action continues in the next chapter. While Cervantes may have been poking fun at this method by using it in such an exaggerated manner, both he and Voltaire use it effectively to keep the reader's attention and make him want to read on to find out what happens next.
In Candide, the story is written in a way that so that the main character, and usually one or more companions have set out on a great journey filled with adventures. It is in Candide's journey that Candide's outlook on life is challenged, he is forced to become less optimistic about this world being the best of all possible worlds. In the same way as in The Divine Comedy, Dante goes on a journey as well, through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven with his guide Virgil. Through his travels he is shown the error of other men's ways, serving to remind him of his own sins and to put him back on the right path in life. In Don Quixote, the would be knight sets out with his sidekick Sancho Panza on an adventure also, determined to right wrongs and save the damsels in distress. Through the harsh realities of life he eventually comes out of his insanity and sees that his way of life in his modern world is outdated and obsolete.
In placing their characters in these adventures the authors demonstrate that, through experience with real world situations, these men who are trying to live by some outdated or far fetched ideal soon learn the error in their reasoning and adapt themselves to the author's way of thinking. From these examples it can be seen how Voltaire, a writer from the Enlightenment period, uses methods from writer's centuries before him to effectively communicate his point to his contemporary readers. The times and issues may be quite different, but the writing style works just as well for him as it did all the way back to the twelfth century. He gets the point across by having the character's state it and back it up with it's own proof through out the entire reading.


Return to 123HelpMe.com