Voltaire Candide Essay

1309 Words Nov 5th, 2008 6 Pages
Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire was the French author of the novella Candide, also known as "Optimism"(Durant and Durant 724). Voltaire's Candide is a philosophical tale of one man's search for true happiness and his ultimate acceptance of life's disappointments. Candide grows up in the castle of his uncle, a German baron, along with his optimistic scholar, Pangloss, and his young, beautiful cousin, Cunégonde. When Candide falls in love with Cunégonde and his uncle sees them kissing, Candide is thrown out of his home and enrolls in the Bulgar army. After being beaten for wandering from camp, Candide flees to Holland and runs into an ugly beggar, who he is told to be Pangloss. He tells Candide that Cunégonde and her family have been …show more content…
Even though his philosophy stated that God chose "the best of all possible worlds," he also meant that God, being the perfection he is, chose the best world available to him, unfortunately it was a world containing evil. It seems as though Voltaire wanted to ridicule Leibniz’s philosophy so much that he chose to satirize only the literal meaning and fatal acceptance of evil of Leibniz’s philosophy.
To get his point across in Candide, Voltaire created the character Dr. Pangloss, an unconditional follower of Leibniz’s philosophy. Voltaire shows this early in the novella by stating, "He proved admirably that there is no effect without a cause and that, in this best of all possible worlds....(16)" Pangloss goes on to say that everything had its purpose and things were made for the best. For example, the nose was created for the purpose of wearing spectacles (Voltaire 16). Because of his "great knowledge," Candide, at this point a very naive and impressionable youth, regards Pangloss as the greatest philosopher in the world, a reverence that will soon be contradicted by contact with reality (Frautschi 75). The name Pangloss is translated as "all tongue" and "windbag." The colloquialism "windbag" implies that a person is all talk, and he takes no action. In this case, Leibniz’s philosophy is Stoic acceptance of the evil of the world. As the story

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