Voltaire is one of the greatest and most famous authors in French literature. He was widely known as a playwright, poet, novelist, essayist and philosopher in the eighteenth century age of enlightenment in Europe. He was known for his advocacy of freedom of religion and other civil liberties. During the long life of Voltaire, he produced many works such as his famous satirical short novel Candide. It was derived from Voltaire’s interest in philosophy and human nature.
As Candide is on his adventure he is enlightened by the world around him. Oliver Wendall Homes, once said, “a moment 's insight is sometimes worth a life 's experience.” In the beginning of the book, Voltaire describes Candide as, “ a young man whom nature had endowed with the gentlest of characters” (Voltaire 1). In Candide, Candide character’s evolves after he was demanded to leave the castle of the Lord Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh because he kissed the Lady Baroness, Cunégonde. Once Candide embarked on his adventure, he was expecting the unknown. Being left with nothing but seventy-one quartering’s to his name, he found himself taken in by two men dressed in blue.
The novel Candide, written by Voltaire, portrays the adventures and experiences of the main character named Candide. Being a very honest man, a character like Candide can be easily swayed and convinced to do and believe anything. From carelessness to greed, the reader can clearly understand that Voltaire ridicules many decisions and situations that occur in the novel. One of many themes Voltaire mocks in the novel would be how greed can result from wealth. What Voltaire is ultimately conveying to the reader is that money cannot buy happiness.
Through the protagonist Candide one can deduce Voltaire’s negative outlook on human nature. He believes every word that Pangloss says, in the same way that people of the day believed everything that the Church would say. At the beginning of the text he blindly worships Optimism and by the end of it he worships the Turk’s philosophy of labour. “I also know… that we must cultivate our garden” (Voltaire 99). However it does appear that Candide has gained more knowledge and wisdom and has therefore made a more informed decision.
Voltaire’s Different Perspectives from Zadig, Candide, and Micromegas Voltaire was a versatile artist whose literary works covered plays, philosophy, history, and poetry. He was an enlightenment preacher who uses his novellas to preach his ideology. In most of his philosophical works, Voltaire had different perspectives that triggered his philosophical reasoning. I could not help myself from comparing and contrasting those different perspectives from three major philosophical works of Voltaire that is, Micromegas, Candide, and Zadig. The three books somehow relate to their criticism of philosophical paradigms, but Micromegas is more scientific than the other two.
“The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in attendance upon Monseigneur. In the outermost room were half a dozen exceptional people who had had, for a few years, some vague misgiving in them that things in general were going rather wrong. As a promising way of setting them right, half of the half-dozen had become members of a fantastic sect of Convulsionists, and were even then considering within themselves whether they should foam, rage, roar, and turn cataleptic on the spot—thereby setting up a highly intelligible”(Dickens 186) The incident with the Marquis and the child illustrates this disregard for the common people. Marquis reveals himself to be heartless and supremely arrogant by believing that he could pay for a child life as if they were for sale. This illustrates the inhumanity amongst the
Voltaire’s character Pangloss is the epitome of optimism in the book Candide. Throughout the story, even in extremely harsh times, Pangloss still views the situation from a glass half full perspective. An example of his optimism can be seen when he doesn’t respond to Cunegonde’s death with grief, but instead implies that bad things that happen will be directly related to the good that
Candide is a satire, that possesses all the subtlety of a brick to the head, instead of getting his point across quietly using complex nuances, Voltaire exaggerates to the point of impossibility, and makes it clear that he finds plenty of his contemporaries ridiculous. Voltaire was an eighteenth century enlightenment writer, and he drew inspiration from other enlightenment writers and movements. Throughout the story, Voltaire makes several arguments, but sometimes he falls short of reaching and fully explicating and convincing the reader of his point. Overall, the book was an important addition to literature, but it could have been better and conveyed the same idea. Voltaire has several main ideas that are present throughout Candide.
In Patrick Süskind’s 19th century novel Perfume, the author gives the protagonist the opportunity of enslaving the world. because Grenouille decides against enslaving the world the author proves Grenouille’s humanity and therefore also his innocence. To establish what exactly the term innocence means in terms of context and if it applies to Grenouille, one must decide whether or not Grenouille is condemned of killing the 26 virgins. In the novel, the author purposefully lets Grenouille escape punishment to then be able to give him the option of continuing to misuse his power. “There was enough left to enslave the whole world.” (page 259) with the perfume, the author purposefully left Grenouille enough perfume so that he could then have the choice.