Dangers of a Captive Audience
Teachers have a significant role in American society as they help foster essential skills and instill knowledge into their students. Excellent teachers are responsible for the success of any modern country. Teachers selflessly serve for the interests of society rather than for their own interests. Though the vast majority of teachers are dedicated and honest citizens, they are some dangerous teachers whom take advantage of their students. The students are a “captive audience” in front of these teachers and can be easily brain washed by the people whom they trust. In the classic novel Candide written by Voltaire in the 1700s, the many traps and dangers of blindly following the teachings of a “teacher” are exposed. This satirical novel helps expose the many follies today in our education system. The conformist style of student/teacher relationship that America uses today is detrimental for student independence and the right to think autonomously.
The protagonist of the story is Candide, who is deeply influenced by the philosopher Pangloss. The optimistic sentiment of all is for the best, is whole heartedly believed by both Candide and Pangloss. Candide believes in this theory thoughtlessly even through great hardship and torment. It is an amazement to the reader of how someone could hold a belief just because his “teacher” believed in it. There were many moments where Candide could have just rejected
that principle but the ability of Pangloss to explain the significance and benefits of having such baseless thoughts are put to rest by his mentor. “This disease which poisons the source of generation, which often even prevents generation, and which is obviously opposed to the great purpose of nature, we would not have either chocolate or cochineal” (Voltaire 23), equates Pangloss to his contact of syphilis for helping Columbus to discover the Americas. Being the “captive audience”...
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