Comparing Thier Eyes Were Watching And Candide

1659 words - 7 pages

Two Artists, Two Methods, Same Result Voltaire's Candide and Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God are two books that use the main character's change in the story to show the author's main theme or moral. In Candide, Voltaire uses a comical or satirical approach in showing that a change is necessary in Candide's mentality towards life. Hurston uses a more realist method to display the need for a change in Janie's life. When comparing the two characters of Candide and Janie it takes little effort to compare them to two different sculptures"”one being chiseled out of some type of hard stone, and the other being soft clay that is continuously molded throughout the story. Disregarding the process in which these masterpieces are created, both Candide and Janie become sculptures that proclaim the same thing; that you must come to your own truth and that you should not accept someone else's beliefs or philosophies strictly because they say so or because it is expected of you. Throughout Candide, Voltaire puts Candide through trial after trial, solely to antagonize and make a mockery of Pangloss' exceedingly optimistic teachings. In some of the worst scenario's that any man could possibly be subjected too, Candide continuously quotes and believes without hesitation what Master Pangloss told him: "all is for the best in this world." The fuel for Candide to continue on this quest is his love for Cunegonde. When Candide finally does get to the point where he and Cunegonde meet again and can marry, Cunegonde has become so ugly that when he finally saw her again he ""¦recoiled three paces, seized with horror, and then advanced out of good manners" (Voltaire 82). He does not love Cunegonde anymore but marries her because he thought it was the honorable thing to do. Eventually after enduring so many tragedies Candide finally questions Pangloss' teachings, and his form as a masterpiece sculpture is instantly jack hammered into shape when he develops the idea that we must all "cultivate our own garden" (Voltaire87). By this statement Candide tells us that we must come to our own conclusions on whether or not something or everything in general, is for the best, and that no one can form this conclusion for us. Janie too, is put through trials, but her trials are much more subtle and convincing. Her "quest" is also for love, only she is not exactly sure of what type of man she can get the type of love that she envisioned while daydreaming under the pear tree one day. After Janie's Grandmother sees her kissing a man that she views as being no good, she forces Janie to marry Logan Killicks. Janie does not love Logan Killicks, but Nanny convinces Janie that she will love him soon enough. After a year has passed Janie realizes that she still does not love Logan, and his growing foul treatment of her cause her absence of love to mature into disgust towards him. Since Janie sees that this will never be...

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