In Candide, Voltaire paints a dismal and satirical view of the world. Voltaire paints a pessimistic portrait of a naïve youth who is raised to believe that this is best of all worlds. Time and again, Voltaire clearly portrays his belief that this is not the best of all possible worlds.
The characters of the story face great adversity. In chapter 10, Cunegonde states that her misfortune is so great that she does not see how the old woman's story of woe can surpass her own. In chapters 11 and 12 the old woman then goes onto tell of her misfortune. When she finishes Candide and Cunegonde are amazed at the hard times this woman has faced. At the proposal of the old woman, Candide and Cunegonde ask others on the ship relate their adventures, and sure enough, the others on the boat have stories that can match or surpass Cunegonde's tale of woe.
Throughout most of the book, Voltaire pokes fun at Leibniz's that according to the hierarchical structure of monads that this is best of all possible worlds. Candide and Pangloss are the main characters used to satirize the belief that this is the best of all possible worlds. Pangloss is a blind optimist; he refused to see things being anything other than the best. No matter what sort of natural disaster or misfortune falls upon someone Pangloss heralds it is being for the best. Candide-the naïve follower of Pangloss-is first a blind follower of Pangloss, but eventually comes to reject his teachings. In chapter 3 after meeting John the Anabaptist, Candide affirms, "now I am convinced that my Master Pangloss told me truth when he said that everything was for the best in this world." However, in the beginning of Chapter 4 only few p...
... middle of paper ...
...t this is not the best of all possible worlds. Though some good things happen along their adventures, Candide's fellow adventurers face great misfortune. Eventually they are forced to live a life of labor-not at all befitting their noble ancestry. Though greatly disappointed with their outcome all but Candide insist on claiming that all is for the best. The complete absurdity that one could go through as much and end up in the place where they end up and still claim that all was for the best furthers Voltaire's belief in the fallacy of systematic optimism.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Frautschi, R.L. Barron's Simplified Approach to Voltaire: Candide. New
York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1998.
Lowers, James K, ed. "Cliff Notes on Voltaire's Candide". Lincoln: Cliff Notes, Inc. 1995.
Voltaire. Candide. New York: Viking Publishers, 1996.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Candide or Optimism, written by Voltaire in 1759, was created to satirize the a priori thinking that everything is for the best in the world. Candide, the guileless and simpleminded main character and his companions are exposed to the very worst the world possibly has to offer with rape, murder, whippings, war, earthquakes, shipwrecks, cannibalism, thievery, disease, greed, and worst of all, human nature. Through these horrific events, Pangloss, the philosopher maintaining a priori thinking, stubbornly upholds the idea that everything is for the best.... [tags: Candide, Voltaire, Best of all possible worlds]
1170 words (3.3 pages)
- In Voltaire’s Candide, he discredits the thinkings of the other Enlightenment thinkers, mocking their ideas through his portrayal of characters. Throughout the novel, he comments on the ideologies of different philosophies by depicting the travels, and subsequent changes in ways of thinking of Candide, the novel’s main character. Although Candide initially subscribes to Pangloss’s philosophy of Philosophical Optimism, throughout the novel, Candide is exposed to the ways of thinking of Cacambo, who believes that no one philosophy is able to encapsule the world, and Martin, who asserts, contrary to Pangloss, that nothing in the world is right or reasonable.... [tags: Candide, Voltaire, Bildungsroman, Zadig]
1258 words (3.6 pages)
- Optimism vs. Pessimism/ Realism vs. Who’s Right Towards the beginning of this novel, we meet the character Candide, who throughout the novel, Candide by Voltaire, was exposed to not only the philosophical idea of optimism, but also a dose of Pessimism and Realism. The question that arose from the novel however is what philosophical thought is right. It wasn’t until the last chapter where Candide says, “We must cultivate our garden,” which is essentially his own understanding of the events he has experienced.... [tags: Candide, Voltaire, Pessimism]
1402 words (4 pages)
- Voltaire’s Opposition to Optimism in Candide Philosophy is a means by which humans search for a general understanding of the world and its concepts. Through experience, thought, and observation, one can arrive at a conclusion that forms the basis of his ideas. However, if one simply thinks and does not act, this conclusion does not make any significant difference on his life. This is a major point that Voltaire tries to make in Candide. He is trying to change society by demonstrating the absurdity of optimism.... [tags: Candide essays pessimism pessimist philosophy]
1084 words (3.1 pages)
How Voltaire utilizes Candide, Pangloss,and Martin to satirize how blind optimism hinders the perception of reality
- Blind optimism has concealed the eyes of human beings from the defects of the world since the age of Enlightenment. Defying the archaic thinking of society, Voltaire searched for practical and useful knowledge to explain the world he lived in. Voltaire mocked philosophers, such as Leibniz ,who believed in the “best of all possible worlds” ,and presupposed that all things happen for a reason rather than convincing himself that good and bad are one and the same( 12). The term blind optimism refers to naievty, or having a tendency to expect the best of all possible outcomes and never accepting conclusions in a negative way.... [tags: Age of Enlightenment, Character Analysis]
1262 words (3.6 pages)
- Although Voltaire and Gronniosaw are similar in that their quest for enlightenment and individuality, they are also very different. Candide is a philosophical satirical novel that ingeniously shakes the misinterpretation of doctrinal optimism. Whilst A Narrative of the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw written by himself, (For the purpose of this essay described as, ‘A Narrative.’) is an autobiographical, spiritual account of Gronniosaw’s travels. This essay will look at the narrative techniques, and the distinctive features, of the language used in both extracts.... [tags: narrative techniques and distinctive features]
1466 words (4.2 pages)
- The eighteenth century was a crucial changing point in the European history because of The Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was revolutionary because of Voltaire, a writer that used his ideas to attack the established Catholic Church, and to propagate the freedom of religion, scientific thoughts, skepticism and experiential philosophy. Voltaire was born in 1694, a year that was under the regiment of Louis XIV. At that time, the aristocracy ruled France in an extreme way that most commoners were struggling in poverty.... [tags: European History, Revolution, Religion]
1132 words (3.2 pages)
- Voltaire was the French author of the novella Candide, also known as "Optimism" (Durant and Durant 724). Famous as a playwright and essayist, Voltaire’s Candide is the book where he tries to point out the fallacy of Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of Optimism. He uses satire, and techniques of exaggeration to contrast highlight the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when men are meekly accepting of their fate. Leibniz, a German philosopher and mathematician of Voltaire's time, developed the idea that the world they were living in at that time was "the best of all possible worlds." This systematic optimism shown by Leibniz is the philosophical system that believed ever... [tags: Optimism by Voltaire]
1163 words (3.3 pages)
- In Voltaire’s Candide, we are taken by the hand through an adventure which spanned two continents, several countries, and to a multitude of adverse characters. The protagonist, Candide, became the recipient of the horrors which would be faced by any person in the 18th century. But Candide was always accompanied with fellows sufferers, two of which our focus will lay, Pangloss and Martin. In equal respects, both are embodiments of different philosophies of the time: Pangloss the proponent of Optimism and Martin the proponent of Pessimism.... [tags: Voltaire, Candide]
1176 words (3.4 pages)
- The enlightenment was a period in history where certain ways of thought were developed. There were doubts of the existence of a supreme being and belief in the natural order of things. "The stability of a divinely-created and unchanging order was challenged by a new conception of life as a constant and shapeless flux" (89). Norman Hampson analyzes many famous philosophical books of the time and overall feels that "Only two attitudes seemed to remain: to follow Hume in denying man's access to objective knowledge of any kind, or to accept d'Holbach's conception of a universe of matter in motion, in which everything happened out of necessity and the answer to every question was `because it cann... [tags: European History]
1343 words (3.8 pages)
- Comparing Enuma Elish and Genesis
- Americans Must Share a Common Language, English
- Pollution and Environment Essay - We Must Act Now to Solve the Problem of Overpopulation
- A Darker Side of Our Soul Exposed in Hamlet
- The Internal State of the Character Hamlet
- Feminine Representation in Shakespeare's Hamlet