Theme Of Optimism In Candide

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The Folly of Chosen Foolishness When pondering life it is common to find that optimism is at the root of every natural disaster, war, misfortune, and tragedy. No matter the circumstance, there are often multiple individuals left blindly hoping for the better. Voltaire’s novel, Candide, is a representation of Voltaire’s stance on this unrelenting optimism. The protagonist, Candide, and various characters are left facing various complications that offer an insight into their outlook on life. Voltaire makes it known through his satirizing characters and irony that he is denouncing optimism as a folly of mankind and a contribution to their ultimate downfall. Throughout Candide, Voltaire most dominantly makes use of Dr. Pangloss by satirizing him. Pangloss’ speech satirizes the blind optimist. Voltaire illustrates his hatred for this optimism from the first introduction of Pangloss. Pangloss states his theory that “Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds” (pg 2). This line…show more content…
Voltaire appeals to logos as Candide slowly loses his naïve outlook and begins truly seeing the world around him. The dialogue between Candide and Cacambo reveals his brief abandonment of optimism as Candid tells Cacambo when speaking of Pangloss that, “ you have no notions of these abominations! I’m through, I must give up your optimism after all” (pg 357). For Voltaire did not make Candide completely ignorant for he gave up optimism acknowledging that, “it is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell” (pg 357). Voltaire reveals to the reader through this dialogue that Candide recognizes the futility of the optimism. By the end of Candide’s adventure, when Pangloss yet again attempts to prove that his point was valid, Candide responds, “That is very well put, said Candide, but we must cultivate our garden” (pg 379). Voltaire paints Pangloss as the pinnacle of idiocy for his

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