Voltaire's Candide: The Philosophy Of Optimism

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The novel about Candide, composed by French author Voltaire, reveal the story of a young, naive, and credulous Candide, who attacks the philosophy of “optimism” through a series of unfortunate events that he lives through. The story begins in Westphalia, where he lives in a beautiful Baron’s castle. He experienced life threatening positions that leave Candide himself troubled and defeated. A devotee of his teacher, Pangloss, taught his students along with Candide that “all is for the best” in their “best of all possible worlds.” With this information, he lived his life believing that everything is meant to happen for a reason. He entrusted Pangloss's philosophy of the optimism in everything, which includes events such as beatings, lashings, ceremonious suicides. Candide still…show more content…
For that reason, the author, Voltaire, infiltrates Pangloss's viewpoint of optimism by using diction, irony, and symbolism to counteract his belief to unmask his misleading theory on sanguinity.

In all the years of Candide's life, he witnessed a handful of gruesome events, therefore Voltaire uses diction to make harsh events appear less wicked. Due to Candide's burden, he shifted from living in the Baron's castle to living in the streets. After a couple days of living in the streets with no food and shelter, he was discovered by a couple of Bulgars. This led to Candide joining their army. He trained and trained and in order to prove that he is a Bulgar hero, he must receive "thirty strokes of the cat ... The following day, he received a mere ten and was thought a prodigy by his comrades" (Voltaire 24). This portrays how the bleak Bulgars are. They swayed Candide to believe that he is a hero by giving him thirty strokes on the back, sadly it only brought pain to Candide. Voltaire included the word "mere" to depict that the strokes were not as unrelenting as it sounds when in reality, it could have
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