Does Candide Change?
Candide has many encounters and travels through many places that help to lead him to his final statement, which shows that he wants to pursue his own happiness and not just let things happen the way they are apparently meant to happen without explanation. Throughout the novel, we see how Candide changes when he travels throughout the world, the events that have the greatest impact on him, and how he becomes different at the end of the story.
Candide is a young man who is educated by the optimistic philosopher Pangloss. Pangloss believes that everything in the world happens for the better, because “things cannot be other than what they are, for since everything is made for an end, everything is necessarily for the best end” (42). As various unfortunate situations occur throughout the story, Pangloss defends his theory by determining the positive from negative situations. For this reason, Pangloss is a very hopeful character in the story because he refuses to accept evil.
In the very beginning, Candide is affected by optimism. Candide grows up in the Castle of Westphalia, in which his life was one of happiness, but he is shortly thrown out of the castle for kissing Baron’s daughter, Cunegonde. “Best of all possible worlds, the Baron’s castle was the finest of all castles” (42), is how Pangloss describes the castle prior to Candide’s dismissal. This is the first misfortune of Candide, as Pangloss’ philosophy seems somewhat of an unsure solution for him.
During the beginning of Candide’s journey, an earthquake strikes Lisbon, murdering thirty thousand people. In Pangloss’ optimistic world, “the fall of man and the curse that came with it were necessary components of the best of all possible worlds” (52), meaning the earthquake was necessary in the course of nature. To enforce his theory, Pangloss explains himself, and for his reasoning both Candide and himself were arrested. This mistake affects Pangloss, given the original...
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