Candide Reaction

Topics: Voltaire, Candide, Age of Enlightenment Pages: 3 (1057 words) Published: March 8, 2012
Candide is a humorous, implausible account by Voltaire satirizing the optimism endorsed by the philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment. The story is of a young man's adventures around the world, where he witnesses malicious human behavior and calamity. Throughout his travels, he abides to the teachings of his lecturer, Pangloss, believing that "all is for the best in this world," even though he visited and experienced torture time and time again.

The Age of Enlightenment is a term applied to an eclectic variety of newly developed ideas in the fields of science, medicine, and philosophy. The conception of Enlightenment philosophy is the belief that people can vigorously work to change the world for the better. Although Voltaire's Candide is heavily characterized by the primary apprehensions of this era, it also criticizes certain aspects of the movement; such as subjecting the idea of optimism, which states that lucid thought can inhibit the evils committed by humans. Voltaire was a firm believer that to have faith in the power of reason to overcome modern social conditions was strictly illogical.

The dictionary definition of a satire is “use of wit to criticize behavior”, which is represented in the tale Candide. Voltaire makes a stab at how ludicrous it is to trust reason to be an explanation for everything. He composes tragic hindrances that his characters go through, all of which are far-fetched to antagonize how “…everything is right”, which was said by Pangloss when he and Candide are under disastrous circumstances. The validity of Pangloss’ quote, “all is for the best in this world” is entirely true because if evil didn’t exist in the world, and didn’t occur, then the good would never be seen and the result of the events in this book would be completely different.

“It is clear, said he, that things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end. Observe: noses were...
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