This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Rising Above A Corrupt World In Voltaire's Candide

1606 words - 6 pages

Rising Above a Corrupt World in Voltaire's Candide

 
     Society can be, and is, corrupt in many different ways. Within our lives we are subject, but not limited to, corruptions within religion, corruptions of morals, and corruption within the government. Voltaire, the author of Candide, uses a naïve protagonist to illustrate his view of the world. Candide, surrounded by a corrupt society, and bombarded by various character defining events, is able to come to a higher understanding as to his philosophy of life.

 

Candide, by Voltaire, is a story about an optimistic young man who encounters various misfortunes on his search for an ideal world. Having unfortunately been kicked out of his home for the love of Lady Cunegonde, Candide suffers through many natural and unnatural catastrophes during his travels. However, holding on to his claim that all is for the best, Candide travels the world abroad with a totally naïve attitude. Constantly being reunited with many of his peers, Candide suffers the cruelty of the Bulgar army, a tempest, a shipwreck, an earthquake, and an auto da fe'.

 

Candide's optimism, stemming from his tutor Dr. Pangloss, keeps him totally determined to find his lost love, Lady Cunegonde, and an ideal world. However, Voltaire takes Candide around the world to discover that, contrary to the teachings of his distinguished tutor Dr. Pangloss, all is not always for the best.

 

In Candide, Voltaire uses general criticisms paired with specific examples to illustrate his idea concerning the contemporary corruption of the time. It is a "grinning critique of the 18th century's excesses and cruelties" (Kanfer 1). With Candide, Voltaire tried to show the world just how unjust and cruel it was. He specifically focused on the ignorance of the nobility's pride, corruption seen in religion, corruption of the government, corruption of morals, and the flaw in complacent optimism. Voltaire takes Candide through all of these forms of corruption to make him realize his ideals and his own personal philosophy on life.

 

Illustrations concerning the ignorance of nobility's pride are evident particularly in the Baron, the six dethroned kings, and Don Fernando. The fact that the Baron refuses to let Candide marry his sister because she has seventy-two generations of nobility in her blood is sheer arrogance. Before he knew Candide wanted to marry his sister "the baron...called him his brother and savior" (Voltaire 56). When the Baron realized Candide's intentions he called him an "insolent wretch" (56). Towards the end of the story, after Candide rescued the Baron from the galley slave ship, he still refused to let him marry his sister! This illustrates the true arrogance and ignorance of the Baron, and the point Voltaire is trying to make about the nobles' pride.

 

The passage concerning the dinner Candide shared with the six dethroned kings illustrates arrogance as well. The six kings, who were once very...

Find Another Essay On Rising Above a Corrupt World in Voltaire's Candide

Use of Satire in Voltaire's Candide

1578 words - 6 pages Successful Use of Satire in Voltaire's Candide Voltaire's Candide is the story of how one man's adventures affect his philosophy on life. Candide begins his journey full of optimism that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds," but he learns that it is naïve to say that good will eventually come of any evil.  Voltaire successfully uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about many aspects of European society in the

Voltaire's "Candide" is a satire on optimism

998 words - 4 pages CANDIDE--OPTIMISMVoltaire's Candide is a satire on optimism. The time when Candide was written, the intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment was spreading ideas about the equality and basic rights of man and the importance of reason and scientific objectivity. Through Candide, Voltaire expressed the misleading notion of Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of optimism. Liebniz developed the idea that the world they were living in at

Analysis of Voltaire's philosophy in Candide

1213 words - 5 pages follow Voltaire's philosophy of "reason plus action". People in today's world have to have life experience in order to gain credibility with peers or co-workers. It is notJohnson 5enough to have reason without having evidence to back up a story. This is where Pangloss' philosophy is flawed, because although he had an interesting premise with valid arguments, once Candide, Cunègonde, and other characters in the story tested these arguments, it

Essay on Satire in Voltaire's Candide

638 words - 3 pages Use of Satire in Voltaire’s Candide            Voltaire successfully uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about life.  In his novel, Candide, Voltaire satirizes the philosopher Liebnitz's philosophy that this is the best of all possible worlds.  In the novel, the perpetually optimistic and naive character, Candide, travels around the world, having various experiences that prove, at least to the reader, that evil does exist

Hamlet - Noble Prince in a Corrupt World

1116 words - 4 pages Hamlet - Noble Prince in a Corrupt World      Ever since I was acquainted with tragic plays, I fell in love with the ideas, concepts, and even moral beliefs of these tragic style writers.  Having never truly understood or read any of William Shakespeare's work, it was hard to see where he was coming from.  After reading and analyzing Hamlet, my first instincts depicted Shakespeare as a dramatist who was bent on creating an overly

The Search for Truth in Voltaire's "Candide"

1467 words - 6 pages Voltaire's "Candide" is a novel which contains conceptual ideas and at the same time is also exaggerated. Voltaire offers sad themes disguised by jokes and witticism, and the story itself presents a distinctive outlook on life. The crucial contrast in the story deals with irrational ideas as taught to Candide about being optimistic, versus reality as viewed by the rest of the world.The main theme which is presented throughout the novel is

Satire of Philosophy In Voltaire's Candide

1160 words - 5 pages "best of all worlds" (Voltaire 10). He is also somewhat naive and believes that he could make the world a better place by spreading his theories on optimism. When Candide had met up with Pangloss after a long period of time, Pangloss said that he was almost hanged, then dissected, then beaten, but he still thought that everything was for the better. No matter how little Pangloss believed in the fact that somehow everything would turn out well, he

Movie Essay - A Comparison of Satire in Voltaire's Candide and the Film Lexx

1176 words - 5 pages Satire in Candide and Lexx Voltaire's Candide is a story about a young man learning about the realities of the world; realities he never could have believed to happen in life because his education heavily involves the idea that this is the "best of all worlds." Salter Street Films' Lexx is a story about a group of misfit adventurers and the calamity that befalls them after they steal the Lexx, a Manhattan-sized insect with the ability

Use of Satire to Attack Optimism in Voltaire's Candide

1491 words - 6 pages Use of Satire to Attack Optimism in Voltaire's Candide     In its time, satire was a powerful tool for political assault on Europe's corrupt and deteriorating society. Voltaire's Candide uses satire to vibrantly and sarcastically portray optimism, a philosophical view from the Enlightenment used to bury the horrors of 18th century life: superstition, sexually transmitted diseases, aristocracy, the church, tyrannical rulers, civil and

A COMMENTARY OF CHAPTER VI OF VOLTAIRE'S CANDIDE

2935 words - 12 pages A Commentary on chapter VI of Voltaire's Candide relating its style and themes to the work as a whole Chapter VI: Comment on fit un bel auto-da-fé pour empêcher les tremblements de terre, et comment Candide fut fessé Chapter VI begins with Voltaire using an ironic style in explaining the reason for the auto-da-fé. Following the Lisbon earthquake the authorities decided, on advice from the

Comparing Views on Life in Thoreau’s Walden and Voltaire's Candide

1119 words - 4 pages in the phrase that completes Voltaire's Candide, "we must cultivate our garden" (120). Do not try to cultivate a garden with excessive surplus in order to barter for unnecessary goods or to store up for the future. "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity," Thoreau orders (173). Voltaire would agree that this is the essential key to living well. After traveling around the world and questioning every sort of person, Candide finally finds peace

Similar Essays

Religious Satire In Voltaire's Candide Essay

961 words - 4 pages During Voltaire's lifetime, traditional social institutions and government systems held power. Arguably the most influential of those was the Catholic Church, which was considered sacred and above the state in authority and importance. Although Voltaire was a deist, he despised the Church clergy for its corruption, impiousness, and hypocrisy. Having been sexually used by teachers while attending a Jesuit school, he harbored a special hatred

A Comparison Of Satire In Voltaire's Candide And Gulliver's Travels

2248 words - 9 pages attacks on society. In both works, litotes [understatements] are made of extremely absurd situations, which further illuminates the ridiculous nature of a situation. Characters in each novel are made vulnerable by their overly trusting natures. This is taken advantage of, and these characters are left exploited by corrupt people in society. Attacks are also made on authority figures of the world. This can be seen in the characters' reaction to

A Series Of Unfortunate Events In Voltaire's Candide

713 words - 3 pages In Candide, a series of unfortunate events befall the main character—Candide—to demonstrate the absurdity of his mentor’s philosophy that he lives in the best possible world. The main tenet of Pangloss’ philosophy is that even from acts that appear evil, or sub-optimal, there is a positive aspect that produces the best of all possible results. In other words, there is no such thing as a sub-optimal outcome or a bad occurrence. Candide

A Freudian Analysis Of Voltaire's Candide

1663 words - 7 pages A Freudian Analysis of Voltaire's Candide       In Civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud refers to the important role that love plays in the world of Man. Love certainly plays an important role in Voltaire's Candide; throughout Candide's journeys, a constant factor is his love for Lady Cunegonde and his desire to be with her. Freud writes "the way of life which makes love the centre of everything [...] comes naturally to