Voltaire is well known for his suggestive satirical work, especially his masterpiece Candide. Candide is a timeless piece still relevant today, that was written to warn the public about the consequences of radical optimism (Online-Literature 1). The main character, Candide, is a naïve and trusting young man who is banished from his home. Despite his life being filled with a series of bizarre disasters, Candide holds fast to his optimism – which serves as an example to readers. Voltaire emphasizes the dangers of radical optimism by incorporating tone, themes and utilizing satire in Candide.
Voltaire’s “Candide” was published in 1759. Candide experiences numerous undertakings. Some of them are clever, some are pitiful, and some are shocking. His eyes open to reality. He sees that everything does not happen generally advantageous as the rationalists and metaphysician Pangloss had let him know in the Baron's manor.
Voltaire (1694-1778) was a French writer, historian and prominent philosophical figure whose ideas and writings left a mark on history. During his time, Voltaire’s theories sparked great controversy. In Voltaire’s best-known work Candide, he criticizes philosophical, religious, political, and social systems of the time which today we would unknowingly turn a blind eye to. Knowing the historical context of Candide, the reader’s understanding and interpretation of characters and ideas in it enhance the work by connecting them to the voices of history present in Voltaire’s time. For starters, the reader must be aware of historical events that had occurred and were occurring to understand the historical context of Candide.
The epic poems “Henriade”, written in 1723 and “The Maid of Orleans”, which he began to write in 1730 and never fully completed, fall under the category of his most well known poetry. Voltaire’s first play, Oedipe, written during his imprisonment in Bastille in 1718, is what gained him fame. Oedipe was followed by various dramatic tragedies, including “Mariamne” (1724), “Zaïre” (1732), “Mahomet” (1736) and “Nanine” (1749). His historical works, contained “The Age of Louis XIV”, written in 1751 and “Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nations”, written in 1756. In the latter one, Voltaire mainly focused on the arts and the social history, as to trace the development of world civilisation.
Candide, the mid eighteenth century satire published by French philosopher Voltaire, escorts the reader through a burdensome journey taken by Candide, the main protagonist and namesake of the story. Throughout his continent crossing escapade, Candide is encountered with countless adversities and discouragement; however, the teaching of Pangloss, an old philosopher and companion, guide and motivate Candide while he matures and develops psychologically. His lesson, one of determination and unwavering optimism towards any misfortune or distress through one’s lifetime, left a grand impression on me and a potential for implementation in my own life. That is why I strongly disagree with Voltaire’s mocking and dismissal of perpetual optimism.
Many classic novels are identified as such when they can maintain their relevance despite the historical context. Joseph Heller’s novel, Catch-22, is a notably classic piece of literature since several of its themes are still applicable today. The philosopher Voltaire states: “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”, and this concept is expressed as a theme in this novel. Voltaire’s quote is proven true through the unjust lives of the bombardiers as well as scenarios with a falsely accused chaplain and mistakenly dead doctor. Furthermore, I concur with Voltaire’s quote due to my knowledge of the current conditions and events in Iran.
Candide by Voltaire is a French Satire about the journeys of Candide who is taught by Professor Pangloss that the world is “the best of all possible worlds”. Francois-Marie Arouet also known as Voltaire was a French Writer, Historian and Philosopher mostly famous for his novel Candide and for attacking all that is wrong with the world, mostly the Catholic Church. One thing that Voltaire attacks in Candide is war and the brutal war actually is. War is definitely a huge problem in the world today and is brutal just like it was a long time ago. One way Voltaire shows the brutality of war is how the Bulgarians trick Candide into joining the military and they accuse him of deserting the military and he is sent to court.
Voltaire satirizes this philosophy by showing its absurdity through hyperbole (Magher). For example, the exaggeration of floggings, sexual assaults, hangings, corruption, and death, allow him to poke fun at the fact that it all ends up alright in the end and their life seems to have a happy ending. Even though Candide has given up on Optimism, Pangloss maintains his doctrine “while believing nothing of the kind” and Martin is convinced “that people are equally miserable wherever they are” (Thomas) Voltaire concludes Candide with a simple yet ironic realization made by Candide himself, that gardening is a busy task and it leaves no time for philosophical thinking, and that everyone is happier when they are merely working and stop thinking about the true meanings of life or the reason behind