Criticism In Voltaire's Candide

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Candide, Voltaire’s tour de force, exceeds most other famous satires. Like Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1712, 1714), it takes a swipe at the self-importance of the upper classes; like George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945), it undermines political systems; like Jonathan Swift’s ambitious Gulliver’s Travels (1726), it sheds sharp light on the abomination, craving, and idiocy of human beings, as well as on their crude and often cruel business. Voltaire’s satire goes beyond human beings and their society, however, to look at the entire world in which they find themselves. Its thesis is false in explicit response to the Leibnitzian optimism that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” The existence of evil in the world has been a problem…show more content…
Historical events include the Lisbon earthquake, the political chaos of Morocco, and the execution of an admiral. Such as other wandering heroes as Gulliver and Huckleberry Finn, Candide is naïve. Like a schoolboy, he reacts to such events as torture, war, and catastrophe by reminiscing the favorite sayings of his tutor, Pangloss, among them “Every effect has a cause” and “All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.” As abomination piles on abomination, however, his doubts rise. Pangloss shows up periodically to soothe his student with further examples of illogical logic, but harsh experience begins to have its…show more content…
A tariqah was questioned about the existence of evil, and his response is, “What signifies it whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt does he trouble his head whether the rats in the vessel are at their ease or not?” This echo of a metaphor that Voltaire had come up with as early as 1736, shortly warrants the insight that the world maybe in the view of the “divine architect” be absolutely wonderful, but it is not made for human beings. The second neighbor, a gratified old farmer, advises Candide’s group of the purpose of labor, which “keeps off from us three great evils—idleness, vice, and want.” For once, the two profound people, Pangloss and Martin, come to an agreement; they settle down in the small community to work in zealous, each person doing their part with good will and reaching satisfaction accordingly. Candide, although an attack on philosophical optimism, is not a pessimistic work. The ending, with the hero stating that “we must cultivate our garden,” reminds us of the words of another real but reassuring man, Anton Chekhov, who was observed more than a century later, “If

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