Topics: Short story, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Novel Pages: 5 (1627 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Ian Jones
March 16, 2013
European Literature
Influence of Imagination
The power of imagination is one that can dramatically affect the lives of human beings. Sometimes the story portrayed in a novel causes the readers mind to wander off, away from the text, into a world different from reality. In this domain, the reader is able to escape their present problems and find some sort of comfort. With a positive imagination one is able to control their own destiny. Looking for the hidden answer to a person or problem is sometimes concealed in an individual’s imagination. The strength of one’s imagination has the power to enhance the living of an individual. It is obvious that without imagination our society would not be where it is today. Most likely society would be equivalent to where it was many years ago.

Imagination has been shown in the presence of many different novels. An imagination forces a reader outside of his or her present world and gives one a break from the hectic lifestyle they might be intertwined with. Sometimes the use of imagination may make an individual hold on to what is true to them, like something never even changed. In this context, Voltaire takes hold of his creative imagination and forces the readers to use their own as well, in his famous novel, Candide. The story is about many unfortunate events that Candide comes across in his journey. One thing that he held true the entire time was his love for the sweet Cunegonde. In a time of despair, the desperate Candide proclaims his love, “my beautiful young lady, when one is a lover, jealous and whipped by the Inquistion, one stops at nothing” (20). When Candide and Cunegonde thought times were getting tough, they stuck to their imagination, something one may be left with when they feel like the end is near. The optimism Candide holds on to throughout the book is a good indicator of the importance of imagaintion. One could argue that optimism and imagination go hand-in-hand. To reiterate on Candide’s journey, many of the hardships he came across were after the “death” of his beloved Cunegonde. Pangloss, Candide’s teacher who instilled his sense of optimism states, “she was ripped open by the Bulgarian soldiers, after having been violated by many; they broke the Baron’s head for attempting to defend her; my lady, her mother, was cut in pieces; my poor pupil was served just in the same manner as his sister” (7). Candide’s imagination kept him going throughout his journey. One might wish to give up after hearing such news about a loved one. The imagination in lives of humans is a strong concept. Voltaire expresses the importance of using imagination to stay positive, or optimistic. It is apparent that one could learn from the struggles of Candide.

Although the struggles of Candide are farfetched, one will benefit from the message Voltaire suggests. The unrealistic journey that accounted for many lives lost throughout the novel shows the importance of one’s imagination, especially Candide’s, in order to persevere through all of the close calls he encounters. Novels like this forces readers to use their imagination because of the impractical circumstances of the journey. To help make sense of everything, Pangloss forces Candide, and even the reader of the story, to believe in the use of imagination and that everything in the end happens for a reason. With a mindset like this, it causes little worrying in the life of an individual. It makes one believe that the control of outside forces is out of their hands. Candide shows his outlook on another unfortunate situation, “For my part, I have only lost a hundred sheep; and now I am flying into Cunegonde’s arms. My dear Martin, yet once more Pangloss was right: all is for the best” (77). The message Candide suggests forces the reader to question their own outlook on life. Like Voltaire, there are many other authors who display a sense of imagination, to help improve...
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