Candide by French novelist Voltaire, a master of literary satire, portrays a young man by the name of Candide who goes from a lavish, sheltered lifestyle to the real world and experiences all the hardships life has to offer. Through the story, the title character tries to acquire money and get back to his girl because he believes that is the key to his eternal happiness. He’s searching for what could make him happy but nothing seems to be the answer. Candide has many important themes such as the folly of optimism, the uselessness of philosophical speculation, and the hypocritical nature of religions. While each theme helps develop the plotline and no one is more important than the others, the principal reoccurring theme I observed was the human desire to seek and obtain happiness and how often that fails catastrophically. At the beginning of the story, Candide lives in “the most beautiful and agreeable of all possible castles” (17) with baron Thunder-ten-tronckh, the baroness, their son, and their daughter, “Cunegonde, aged seventeen, . . . rosy-cheeked, fresh, plump, and alluring” (15). His tutor there, Pangloss, preaches the philosophy of optimism and that everything happens for a reason. Life at the castle is easy. They have plenty of servants and food all year round, but Candide wasn’t quite happy. Something was missing from his life and that thing was Lady Cunegonde, “for he found Lady Cunegonde extremely beautiful, although he was never bold enough to tell her so” (16). Candide is infatuated with the fair Cunegonde and believes it be one of the world’s greatest fortunes to get to see her every day. However, the object of his affections is removed from his reach when he tries to make a move but is caught by the baron. The bar... ... middle of paper ... ... flop. Time and time again, Candide has tried to regain what little contentment he had with his previous life and build upon it. Sadly, he fails utterly and miserably when taking a direct approach. In the final chapter, the main characters seek the advice of a wise dervish how tells them that it is not good to poke and pry, just let it be. “At these words the dervish slammed the door in their faces” (111). Pangloss tries to ponder the meaning of this, but Candide, fed up with up the repeated failures he endured throughout the story, simple responds, “That is very well put, but we must go and work our garden” (113). It is implied that the hard work leaves no time to question matters of the universe and, in turn, everyone will be happier. This final chapter perfectly sums up the theme of the novel, searching for happiness will ultimately lead to more discontentment.
The author, Voltaire, wrote in the Enlightenment period, a literary movement characterized by the rising concern of philosophy, science, and politics. Voltaire’s writing was influenced by the Enlightenment movement to create awareness of global issues. This is evident in the repeated tragedies Candide stumbles upon. Social issues, corrupt authority figures, and war are real world topics that Voltaire chooses to address in Candide. The satirical nature of Candide allows for an in-depth discussion between the characters regarding the problems they face and the problems of the people they meet, creating a perspective that the audience is forced to look through. It is also a coming of age story, not just for Candide, but for the rising awareness in global issues. Voltaire’s inclusion of the issues of his time reflect the severity of those issues. Satire is used as a reaction to a society’s hypocrisy. Candide as a satirical piece reflects what people have neglected to pay attention to. Coming into a new era of awareness and responsibility leads Candide to reflect on the live he lived in Westphalia and the people he encountered across
Autobiographer, essayist, playwright, poet, satirist, Enlightenment writer and philosopher – these are just a few of the hats worn by French born François-Marie Arouet, more famously known by the adopted pen name Voltaire. Beyond his written work Voltaire was an outspoken advocate for the freedom of religion, expression, and the separation of church and state. He used his versatile literary work as a tool to criticize the Catholic Church and overall intolerant French society. Voltaire’s cynical writing reached its highest potential in his rapid-fire satire Candide, or Optimism. In the novella, Voltaire told the story of Candide – a young man on a quest for happiness and spiritual fulfillment who encountered tragic setbacks that eventually led to bitter disillusionment. The purpose of Candide was to mock philosophers of the
...the Turk ,Candide finally finds contentment in his work and establishes what Voltaires considers the correct mindset - positivity and negativity are only good in moderation.Candide finds that he mustn't need to find the good or bad in everything; that with cultivating his garden he is also cultivating his own life to his own liking.
In the beginning Candide, whom at this time is living in a German castle, was taught by the prominent philosopher, Pangloss. Pangloss teaches the ideals of Optimism. Throughout the novel Pangloss’s teachings becomes coined into one phrase, “all this is the best there is” (Voltaire, Candide, 13). During the start of the tragedies faced by Candide it is apparent that, though, everything may be horrible it is the best of all things. This suggests that Candide too believed in the optimistic world view. The reason why Candide holds on to the ideals of Optimism may be due to his ...
...ue perspectives on the world. Candide revived a glimpse of the the best possible world, the world as it really is, and the worst possible world. In the end all the philosophies are rejected and they decide that the world is full of good and bad events, “ there is a concatenation of the events in the best of all possible worlds: for if you had not been kicked out of the magnificent castle for love of miss Cunegonde; if you had not been put into the inquisition; if you had not walked over america; if you ad not stabbed the baron; if you had not lost all your sheep from the fine country of el dorado; you would not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio nuts... but let us cultivate our garden “ (Voltaire, 87). Candide choses to ignore the philosophies and just simply live he came to this deduction after vast travels and experiences he decides to tend his garden.
This paper's focus is Voltaire's view of human happiness. Specifically, it will argue that Voltaire, in Candide, says that human happiness is impossible. Voltaire believes this for three reasons. First, Voltaire presents mankind in the novel spending all its life worried about personal problems of the moment. When people in Candide have no problems, Voltaire indicates, they do not feel happy but become bored instead. Their emotional lives swing between worries and boredom with almost no periods of prolonged happiness. Secondly, Voltaire believes human happiness is impossible because the world as he presents it in Candide is full of selfish people whose actions spoil the well being of all their fellow human beings. Thirdly, Voltaire believes human happiness is impossible because governments are so violent and organized religion is so corrupt that they ruin the lives of millions through war and exploitation.
Voltaire’s novel, Candide, features satire as social commentary on religion, maltreatment of women, slavery, money, philosophies, and societal ideas that were prominent during the course of the Enlightenment. Through the characters Cunegonde and the old woman, Voltaire exposes that women were seen as property and secondary citizens; they were treated as weak, helpless individuals that needed a high ranking husband to ensure a jubilant life. For instance, Cunegonde’s father decides who she will marry despite who she is truly in love with. Women of this time didn’t marry for love, their marriages were often arranged.
“Candide” by Voltaire is a controversial satirical novella that tells the story of a man named Candide, a naïve man, who goes through a series of events resulting in an adventurous journey. Candide meets various people on his way while he visits several different areas on his journey. Voltaire uses additional characters and locations to emphasize the representation of topics like religion, class and the goodness of nature. He uses these aspects to portray his opinions which relate to his attack on these ideas. For instance, the baron is a character that epitomizes the idea of following the laws of a social hierarchy. As a character, he continues to look at social hierarchy as the only thing that matters in his life. Voltaire uses him to attack
Voltaire's Candide is a philosophical tale of one man's search for true happiness and his ultimate acceptance of life's disappointments. Candide grows up in the Castle of Westfalia and is taught by the learned philosopher Dr. Pangloss. Candide is abruptly exiled from the castle when found kissing the Baron's daughter, Cunegonde. Devastated by the separation from Cunegonde, his true love, Candide sets out to different places in the hope of finding her and achieving total happiness. The message of Candide is that one must strive to overcome adversity and not passively accept problems in the belief that all is for the best.
The principal theme presented throughout majority of the novel is "Optimism" by the main character Candide and how that theme is incorporated into his winning outcomes of terrible situations. His good friend and philosopher Dr.Pangloss first introduces this Optimism that Candide believes. Yet this optimist foundation is being con...
The book Candide by Voltaire is a humorous satire constructed of many themes. Through his book, Voltaire expresses his views on life by criticizing many aspects of humanity at that time. He focused in war, religion, and love, but the main target of Voltaire's satire was a certain philosophy. All of the previous topics unite to ridicule the philosophy that, as the character Pangloss said, "things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end" (1).
Candide may have started as an innocent boy that believed the world to be perfect, but he soon adapts his beliefs and opinions to the world around him as he realizes that there is nothing perfect of the world he lives in. This is just how people start their lives in the world and learn to adapt to their surroundings as they experience life. Therefore, Candide can be seen as an interpretation of the life of people by Voltaire in his novel Candide. That is because just like Candide, people adapt to the world through life experiences and may do good and bad things.
Candide is written to show human vices but also show Voltaire’s counter ideas to Leibniz’s optimism. Each one of the characters that Candide interacts with has their own specific folly that proves the world maybe isn’t all for the best. Pangloss is so optimistic that he is naive and conceded, the abbe in France is extremely greedy when she steals gems from Candide, and the Dervish who doesn’t question things is so passive that he isn’t very likeable. The ending of the novel concludes when Candide finds peace in the garden where he is working to escape the three evils in the world according to the Old Turk. Candide’s finding of peace can correlate with Voltaire being okay with life and the earth even though he sees suffering happen. Though the novel bashes on optimism, Voltaire’s acceptance life and of the world is a good example for anyone.
Voltaire's Candide captures the extremes of human suffering, providing a disparaging account of what many of us would deem an unbearable cross to carry. While the author's message was not to glorify his characters for their resilience, the reader will clearly feel humbled after learning of the intense suffering that Candide and friends endure. In particular, it is the story of the old woman, who perhaps best explains the spirit of the characters, when she says 'A hundred times I wanted to kill myself, but I always loved life more.' Considering that she has been raped repeatedly and essentially gone from riches to rags, her passion for life should remain unquestioned. Candide also displays this sense of hope in light of his many hardships. He honors his commitment to marry Cunegonde at the end of the story despite the physical abnormalities that have plagued her. Cunegonde, as you may remember, was also raped and taken as a sex slave. In addition, she was a victim of cannibalism and her face has clearly made a turn for the worse. Essentially, her once beautiful physique has undergone a complete transformation.