“Now my father was then holding one of his second beds of justice, and was musing within himself about the hardships of matrimony, as my mother broke silence.—
—My brother Toby, quoth she, is going to be married to Mrs. Wadman.”
—Then he will never, quoth my father, be able to lie diagonally in his bed again as long as he lives.”
(Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy)
The eighteenth century, what a magnificent time—a contemporary critic is likely to exclaim, and indeed it was. The century of Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Kant, Swift, Sterne, and others, whose names still make pound the sensitive hearts of many students of history, philosophy, and literature. The Age of Enlightenment, when every aspect of man’s life—morals and vices; natural and conventional laws; issues of government and religion, of marriage and child rearing, of politics and economy, of the sciences and the arts—was scrutinized under the critical eye of thinkers and often discarded without pity. A time of blossoming critical and literary thought, a time of great intellectual challenges, trials, and successes—in a word, a splendid, magnificent, glorious time.
And what books were written, what literary marvels were produced! Montesquieu’s Persian Letters, Voltaire’s Candide, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, Rousseau’s First and Second Discourses . . . Innovative and daring, they questioned a traditional, God-blessed and Church-sponsored view of man’s life, providing armies of scholars with an enormous literary and philosophical heri...
... middle of paper ...
...al pursuits with more earthly matters. To the modern reader, unfortunately, they may appear too “enlightened.”
1If my reader wonders why I am taking so great an interest in this matter, I would like to point out that his or her (especially her) speculations are totally erroneous and irrelevant to the subject.
2Note that Uzbek is a Persian, and Candide is a German. Apparently when French writers create a hero with “limited” sexual prowess, they don’t assign him a French origin, probably preserving the myth of French sexual vigor.
Montesquieu, de [Baron de La Bréde, Charles de Secondat]. Persian Letters. New York: Penguin, 1973.
Sterne, Laurence. Tristram Shandy. New York: Norton, 1980.
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels. New York: Da Capo Press, 1988.
Voltaire [Francois Marie Arouet]. Candide. New York: Bantam, 1959.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The book The Persian Letters by Montesquieu is a fictional novel that was written by the author so he could comment on the society in which he was living. This novel has served as a good example of the ideas that were present during the early Enlightenment. There are many ideas and themes that Montesquieu discusses by using the point of view of two Persian travelers in Europe that correspond with letters to each other and others back in Persia. By using a foreigner's perspective, Montesquieu was able to present things in a way that gave a much more lasting effect then if he had used two Frenchman commenting on their own country.... [tags: Persian Letters Montesquieu]
974 words (2.8 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)
- Voltaire's Candide: The Transformation of Candide Candide (1991), which is another version of "Voltaire" by French writer Francois-Marie Arouet, is a short but diverse story that tells of a young man's journey for love and the hardships he faces all the while keeping a very strong, positive and philosophical outlook on life. The book starts in an unknown year, hinted sometime around the Renaissance, with a young man named Candide. Candide loves the princess of a Baron and is banished from the land because of it.... [tags: Voltaire Candide Essays]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide Voltaire, whose real name was Francois Marie Arouet, was a man whose cynical style of writing brought attention upon himself, both in the positive aspect and in the negative. Francois associated himself with a group of politically power-hungry people who held a frantic hatred against the duke of Orleans. He was wrongly believed to have printed two libelous poems that defaced the duke and due to the false accusation he was imprisoned in the Bastille.... [tags: Voltaire Candide]
1025 words (2.9 pages)
- A Comparison of the Satire of Candide and Gulliver's Travels An impartial observer has the ability to make the most critical and objective observation on society and the behavior of man. This impartial observer would see the truth as it is. This same premise may be applied to literary works. A naive character or narrator may be used as an impartial observer, who reveals social truths to the audience through his or her naivete. As Maurois has noted, in writing about Candide, by Voltaire," It was novel of apprenticeship, that is, the shaping of an adolescent's ideas by rude contact with the universe" (101).... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2203 words (6.3 pages)
- Voltaire's Candide Voltaire uses many writing techniques, which are similar to that of the works of Cervantes, Alighieri, Rabelais and Moliere. The use of the various styles shows that, despite the passing of centuries and the language change, certain writing techniques will always be effective. One common literary technique is the author's use of one or more of his characters as his own voice to speak out the authors own views on certain subjects. For instance, in Moliere's Tartuffe, the author uses the character of Cleante to speak out against religious hypocrites: "Nothing that I more cherish and admire than honest zeal and true religious fire.... [tags: Voltaire Candide ]
1186 words (3.4 pages)
- At first Gulliver’s travels comes off as a fantasy/adventure, but in actuality it’s a satirical commentary on society in Johnathan Swift. It starts off with Gulliver talking about himself. Later he gets shipwrecked and ends up in Lilliput, where the people are 6 inches tall. At first they think Gulliver is an enemy, but then realize he is no threat. He is taken to the palace and housed in a cursed temple. Gulliver is amazed at how silly the government’s rules are, for example to gain entry to the court the candidates must petition to the emperor.... [tags: Gulliver's Travels]
1017 words (2.9 pages)
- Candide, written by Voltaire and published in 1759, is based in the Age of the Enlightenment. Candide is a satiric tale of a virtuous man's search for the truest form of happiness and his ultimate acceptance of life's disappointments. The illegitimate son of the Baron's sister; Candide is raised in the Castle of Westphalia and taught by his friend and philosopher of metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology, Dr.Pangloss. Candide is abruptly cast out from the castle when he and Lady Cunegonde are found indiscreetly kissing behind a screen.... [tags: Voltaire essays research papers]
675 words (1.9 pages)
- Voltaire was a talented, assertive, and controversial French writer from the eighteenth century enlightenment period. He was born in 1694 to a wealthy family in Paris, and given the name Francois-Marie Arouet. During the early years of his life Voltaire endured many hardships. For instance, his mother passed away when he was seven leaving only his father and older brother to raise him. Unfortunately, this added insult to injury as Voltaire despised both his father and brother. Nevertheless, Voltaire's determination allowed him to rise above his early misfortunes, and he later went on to pursue college at the College of Louis-le-Grand in Paris.... [tags: essays research papers]
766 words (2.2 pages)