1- Explain the Differences Between Pangloss's Philosophy of Life and Martin's. How Do Each of These Characters Influence Candide?

Topics: Pessimism, Optimism, Candide Pages: 2 (632 words) Published: February 24, 2010
Pangloss’s philosophy of life is that all is for the best in the “best of all possible worlds.” This optimistic philosophy actually is the key element of Voltaire’s satire. Pangloss’s philosophy is against the ideas of the Enlightenment period. Pangloss believes that a powerful God had created the world and that, therefore, the world must be perfect. When creatures of the world, see something as wrong or evil, it is because they do not understand the ultimate good that will come out of it. Voltaire satirically shows the reader that Pangloss is not a believable character. Voltaire illustrates this by showing us that he keeps his optimistic thought even when he is imprisoned. Pangloss ignores any evidence that contradicts his initial opinion. He also uses illogical arguments to support his beliefs. Pangloss’s philosophy tries to impose a passive attitude toward all that is wrong in the world. If the world is the best one possible, then there is no reason to make any effort to change things. Martin is more believable than Pangloss, not because he is more sophisticated, but because he is smarter and more likely to draw conclusions with which we can identify. Martin had been robbed by his wife and beaten by his son and deserted by his daughter and also lived financial setbacks, and therefore he’s a pessimist whereas Pangloss is an optimist. He uses his experiences to judge the world whereas Pangloss was merely using a theory. As a result, Martin is more insightful than Pangloss to foresee events that will happen. Even though Martin’s philosophy is more believable than Pangloss’s, he’s still not good at predicting how some people will behave because his philosophy is coming from extreme pessimism. Therefore it might not be wrong to say that Voltaire is trying to prove that we need flexible thought in our lives based on real evidence. Both philosophers will ultimately fail because there’s no room for exceptions in their beliefs. Candide starts his journey with...
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