Criticism In Chapter 5 Of Voltaire's 'Candide'

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In chapter 5 of Candide, the Enlightenment and the birth of tolerance were on full display. In Candide, the Enlightenment thinkers’ view of the optimum world is challenged through the shipwreck and the satiric explanations of the Lisbon Bay and Lisbon Earthquake. Voltaire continues to use ironically tragic events to test Pangloss’s optimistic philosophy, which attempts to explain evil. The use of grotesque and naive behavior between individuals in this chapter makes the reader question Pangloss’s irrational thinking with the cause and effects of the events. As chapter 5 begins, the ship was in the midst of a tempest and its crew feared for their lives. Voltaire used vivid imagery to describe 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…show more content…
Events throughout this chapter should leave the reader with a feeling of disbelief and make start to question the philosophy of Leibniz. The irony displayed in the shipwreck was then exaggerated by Pangloss’s explanation for James death in the Lisbon Bay. Voltaire used of descriptive words such as flames and topsy-turvy painted images in the readers, which made them, ask themselves how is this the best possible outcome? The combination of the lack of rational in Pangloss’s sulfur explanation with the sailors grotesque behavior completed the attack on the Enlightenment period and their view of optimism. As all of these examples and literary devices produced a chapter full of satiric examples that left the reader flabbergasted with their

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