September 29, 2014
Candide is introduced as a naive teenager in Voltaire’s novel. As a young man he is easily influenced by stronger characters such as his tutor, Pangloss. In the beginning of the book,
Candide is very innocent and is easily influenced by Pangloss. Pangloss is stuck in his optimistic philosophy and “best of all possible worlds” idea. Pangloss’s philosophy mocks the ideas of some Enlightenment thinkers of a perfect world created by an all powerful god. Candide's vulnerability allows himself to be corrupted by the unrealistic optimism instilled to him by
Voltaire highlights two flaws in this optimistic philosophy. First being that his philosophy is combatted by the cast amount of evidence from the real world. Candide experiences many struggles early in his life and still is mislead to believe there is a “cause and effect for everything”. Candide was exiled from the Castle of Westphalia when he is caught kissing the
Baron’s daughter and endures hardships through his training in the army. His quest for love also falls short and illustrates that life is full of struggles. Second, Pangloss’s philosophy stresses the acceptance of all that is wrong in the world. He believes that the world is perfect and there is no reason to change things that are viewed as bad or wrong. Pangloss convinces Candide that the drowning of Jacques was justified and plays into his optimistic philosophy. Candide learns how to achieve a state of contentment, which helps him maintain sanity throughout his hardships.
Along with his struggles, Candide experiences wealth and gains knowledge about the world as he progresses with age. One thing he does hold on to is his belief in work. At the end