Candide By Voltaire: Literary Analysis

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Candide is a satirical novella written by the controversial French writer, Voltaire. It was written by the philosophe in 1759 to comment on issues in France. The main character, innocent Candide travels all over the world to look for his lover, Cunegonde and comes in contact with various societies and ideas. He experiences and learns about different philosophies and perspectives from the people he meets and finally learns to think for himself. At the end of his adventures, he and his friends live on farm in Turkey where they develop a small society with each individual having an important job and purpose for the community. The novel ends with Pangloss philosophical ordeal about evil and good to which Candide responds by stating, “but we must…show more content…
The message of quote, “but we must cultivate our garden” refers to Voltaire opposition toward the excessive philosophical questioning of the thinkers of his time. Furthermore, he describes the waste of time that results from this and how that time can be spent improving an individual’s reality. Voltaire is a strong believer in action rather than thinking as evidenced by placing the quote at the end of the novel after all of Candide’s experiences. For example, he criticizes Candide’s tutor, Pangloss for his overthinking about every situation in the novel and his continuous unreasonable optimism that is generalized in his catchphrase, “the best of possible worlds.” For instance, when Candide finds Pangloss in dire need of help after contracting syphilis from Pacquette, the tutor ignores the urgency of needing a cure to rather discuss the philosophy to why he had to get sick. Pangloss’s reasoning is that he had to gotten sick for the good of the entire world. This is evidenced by Pangloss’s stating, “it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds” and discusses how without him contracting the diseases there wouldn’t be “chocolate nor cochineal”, other
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