A Comparison Of Optimism In Voltaire's Candide

793 Words 4 Pages
In novels, we often encounter characters that are oblivious to reality and only see what they want to see. In Voltaire’s “Candide,” Dr. Pangloss is one of those characters. Throughout Voltaire’s short novel, Dr. Pangloss’ philosophy of optimism makes him appear blind to the suffering he goes through. Voltaire intentionally uses the characterization of Dr. Pangloss to poke fun at Leibniz’s philosophy. Similarly, to “Candide,” Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” also include characters who pride themselves in their logic, but are indeed blind. Elizabeth, the protagonist of the novel, let’s her prejudice blind her. In the first chapter of “Candide,” Voltaire introduces Candide as an innocent young person, who is naïve and easily influenced. …show more content…
Pangloss’s philosophy about life stated that, “things cannot be otherwise: for, since everything was made for a purpose, everything is necessarily for the best purpose” (Voltaire, pg. 18). Pangloss, too becomes familiar with the outside world, but maintains an optimism towards life that blinds him of reality. Pangloss was nearly hanged, imprisoned, beaten, and close to being dissected, but even after all of those events Pangloss still believed that everything was for the best in this world. Reality did not shake his philosophical views. In the second to last chapter of the novel, Pangloss says, “I still hold my original opinions… because, after all, I’m a philosopher and it wouldn’t be proper for me to recant, since Leibniz cannot be wrong, and since pre-established harmony is the most beautiful thing in the world, along with the plenum and the subtle matter” (Voltaire, pg. 114). In this quote, Voltaire mentions Leibniz, a philosopher around his time. Leibniz believed God is all powerful and morally perfect. Voltaire used Dr. Pangloss’s constant optimism to poke fun at Leibniz’s beliefs by exaggerating them in the novel. In chapter four, when Pangloss is dying of syphilis, he says “It was an indispensable element in the best of worlds, a necessary ingredient, because if Columbus, on an American island, hadn’t caught that disease which poisons the source of …show more content…
Elizabeth Bennet is the second oldest daughter of the Bennet family, the first is Jane. Elizabeth is smart, attractive, and has a good moral character. In the novel, Elizabeth prides herself in being a good observant and a good judge of character. She believes that she is a good reader of not only people, but also of situations. In chapter __ of “Pride and Prejudice,” at the Netherfield Ball, Elizabeth described with precision Mr. Collins eagerness to meet Lady Catherine’s nephew and Mr. Darcy’s uncomfortableness with the introduction. Lizzy, just like any other person, is not perfect. She too, also has many flaws. One of her flaws is that she is

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