Candide, The Enlightenment Period And The Birth Of Tolerance Essay

Candide, The Enlightenment Period And The Birth Of Tolerance Essay

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In chapter 5 of book Candide, the Enlightenment period and the birth of tolerance were on full display. In Candide, the Enlightenment thinkers’ view of the optimum world is challenged through satiric examples of the Lisbon Bay and Lisbon Earthquake. Voltaire continues to use ironically tragic events to test Pangloss’s contention with the phenomenon of evil. The use of grotesque and naive behavior between individuals in this chapter makes you really question their irrational thinking with the cause and effects of the events that just transpired.
As chapter 5 begins, the ship was in the midst of a tempest and its crew feared for their lives. As Voltaire used vivid imagery to described the individuals aboard the ship as “making loud outcries, or betook themselves to their prayers; the sails were blown into shreds, the vessel was a total wreck”. As events transpired, James pulled the evil sailor back to safety only to have a sudden jerk of the ship send him overboard. This was the first instance of irony, as James forgave the sailor for the slamming him mere seconds ago and went on to save him for no apparent reason, only to get thrown overboard. This instance refers to the Christian Church and its relevance in the spiritual, social and political world, and hampers on the fact that there was no divine justice for James. This scenario connects with Leibniz and his philosophy on optimism and god. Leibniz argued, “that if God was perfect then he must have created a perfect world”(wordpress). Voltaire did not accept this philosophy because it allowed for people to accept suffering as in the case of James, for it is just part of the world we live in and we should just acknowledge it and move on. This event also dealt with the idea of resu...


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...a way because he continued to use Leibnizian philosophy, which Voltaire satirized because it appeared futile, irrelevant, and absurd in the midst of human pain and suffering (Lecture)”.
As an Enlightenment thinker takes a look at this book, they don’t see the satiric examples Voltaire lays out. They don 't see the examples because they have an optimistic view of the world and a connection to God that uses this unusual cause and effect reasoning to explain these bizarre events. Voltaire is dumbfounded by their reasoning and produces satiric examples of Lisbon Bay and the earthquake to attack the Enlightenment thinkers’ views as lacking a sense of deductive reasoning. The imagery and unemotional concern of Pangloss and Candide represent an attack on the people of the Enlightenment period, and how they just shifted the burden of personal responsibility onto God.






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