Voltaire's Use Of Optimism In Candide

1119 Words5 Pages
The novella Candide (translates into optimism) is a work of Voltaire used to express his thoughts on optimism, injustice, and philosophy. Candide is introduced as a naïve and simple-minded optimistic boy, which then evolves into a practical and tough young man in the conclusion. Candide’s motivation of his love for Cunegonde takes him on a journey of self-improvement, filled with injustice and a change in philosophy. Will Candide’s journey give him another perspective on his philosophy or will he remain naïve and optimistic?
In the beginning of the story, Candide is in the comfort of the castle and he follows everything his philosopher Pangloss says. Therefore, his expulsion from the castle is where the evidence of his ignorance surfaces. Candide
…show more content…
He decides to forget about philosophy and just work to keep himself busy. As Pangloss says to Candide in the conclusion, “You are right, for when man was placed in the Garden of Eden, he was placed there ut operarteur eum, in order to work on it, which proves that humankind was not made for rest,” (Voltaire, 119). This statement means that people do not arrive to a perfect life, like the Garden of Eden, they have to work hard and make their life better. Nothing starts off perfect, perfection cannot be achieved either, working towards perfection just keeps man busy because he believes in such an idea.
In conclusion, Candide evolves from a naïve and optimistic boy into a practical young man. He abandons Pangloss’s philosophy that all causes work towards a good effect because of all the injustice he witnesses. He grows into a tough young man with experience, as opposed to the ignorant boy he was in the beginning of his adventure. Candide turns towards a new way to live the rest of his life, which is to work and forget about philosophy because it is the only way to make life
Open Document