Candide Ignorance Analysis

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Ignorance of the World in Candide
In Voltaire’s Candide, Candide’s ignorance of the world leads him to discover what the world outside of Westphalia is like through a series of obstacles. Candide’s innocence is mainly due to his Mentor Pangloss’s philosophy that everything is for the best. The only thing that allows him to continue his journey through the world is his desire to marry Cunegonde and the optimism Candide possesses. Candides morals change a lot throughout the story and he is no longer innocent of the ways of the world.
In the beginning of the novel, Candide is kicked out of Westphalia and kicked into reality. His first encounter is with the Bulgars and this happens shortly after being kicked out of his homeland. They force him
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This adventure quickly turns sour when the Anabaptist goes overboard and drowns in the sea. Pangloss is quick to reassure Candide by “proving that the bay of Lisbon had been formed expressly for this Anabaptist to drown in” (107). Candide starts to question Pangloss’s philosophy when his dear friend drowns and asks himself the question; “If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others like?” (109).This shows that Candide is starting to realize that everything in the world may not happen for the best and that in fact bad things do happen. Although Candide questions Pangloss’s beliefs, he always falls back on them when something restores his hope in the world and in finding…show more content…
The first evidence of this is when he arrives at the house where Cunegonde is staying. Shortly after his arrival, he learns that Cunegonde is shared among two men (a jew and the Grand Inquisitor) that acquire her time and affection. When the Jewish man comes in for his time with Cunegonde, he sees Candide and immediately comes at him with a sword. Candide then pulls out his sword and “laid the Israelite stiff and cold on the floor” (113). The grand Inquisitor then comes in and Candide, worried about the man saying anything, “ran him through [with the sword], and laid him beside the jew” (113). This shows how the world outside of Westphalia has changed him. In Westphalia, Candide never would've thought of killing a man, let alone two. Cunegonde points this out ; “How is it that you, who were born so gentle, could kill in two minutes a jew and a prelate?”(113). Candide has changed so drastically that even Cunegonde takes note of it. This demonstrates that Candide has lost his innocence and is getting accustomed to the way of the world. It could also be implied that Candide has changed because of his lust for Cunegonde and that this desire has driven him to kill the very men getting in his way of being with her. Although, he may have killed the men to become closer to Cunegonde, this backfires as he must immediately leave Cunegonde without
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