The Politically Incorrect Candide
Candide is a story that should be added to every canon in literature. It is a story that addresses issues about human nature that other stories choose to ignore. It addresses issues such as human nature, optimism, and religion and state. These elements give an insight and a perspective that readers do not usually get in every day literature. These elements are controversial, but from an honest point of view. Voltaire never tries to be politically correct – he tells it like it is or at least tells it like he sees things. Not only does Voltaire address the ignorance of mankind, but also he directly challenges the integrity of the church and state. This, in Voltaire's day and often times in modern days, can prove to be quite dangerous. Through all of this, Voltaire sternly opposes many issues of religion and state. Because of these dangerous issues, Voltaire was forced to deny his writing of Candide. By Voltaire's death in 1778, Candide had climbed to fifty editions and became the best seller of the eighteenth century. (pg.11 Weitz)
Because of the conflict prevalent in the story of Candide, it makes this story a good topic for discussion in a classroom setting. There is much debating that can be done over many topics. The range of offensive topics in Candide is sure to strike a nerve in every one in some way, shape or form. Or, at least bring up issues valuable enough for discussion. Candide is a story the students, in some parts can relate to, and possibly in other parts be offended by. It is a novel that by all means should be read by every one to experience a perspective that is none too often revealed in literature especially in the day that Voltaire wrote Candide.