Voltaire Candide

Topics: Candide, Voltaire, Best of all possible worlds Pages: 4 (1311 words) Published: November 20, 2008
Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire was the French author of the novella Candide, also known as "Optimism"(Durant and Durant 724). Voltaire's Candide is a philosophical tale of one man's search for true happiness and his ultimate acceptance of life's disappointments. Candide grows up in the castle of his uncle, a German baron, along with his optimistic scholar, Pangloss, and his young, beautiful cousin, Cunégonde. When Candide falls in love with Cunégonde and his uncle sees them kissing, Candide is thrown out of his home and enrolls in the Bulgar army. After being beaten for wandering from camp, Candide flees to Holland and runs into an ugly beggar, who he is told to be Pangloss. He tells Candide that Cunégonde and her family have been murdered by the Bulgar army. A kind Anabaptist named Jacques to travel to Lisbon, but a storm destroys the ship, and Jacques drowns. In Candide, Voltaire sought to point out the fallacy of Gottfried William von Leibniz’s theory of optimism and the hardships brought on by the resulting inaction toward the evils of the world. Voltaire’s use of satire and its techniques of exaggeration and contrast highlight the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when men are meekly accepting of their fate. Leibniz, a German philosopher and mathematician of Voltaire’s time, developed the idea that the world they were living in at that time was "the best of all possible worlds." This systematic optimism shown by Leibniz is the philosophical system that believed everything already was for the best, no matter how terrible it seemed. In this satire, Voltaire showed the world full of natural disasters and brutality. Voltaire also used contrast in the personalities of the characters to convey the message that Leibniz’s philosophy should not be dealt with any seriousness. Leibniz sometimes regarded as a Stoic or Fatalist because his philosophies were based on the idea that everything in the world was determined by fate, theorized that God,...
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