Optimism In Candide

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Leibznizian Optimism was a popular philosophical theory during the Enlightenment era. It manifests itself within Voltaire’s narrative as the teachings of Pangloss. It is Pangloss’ belief that “things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end” (CITATION NEEDED), or that everything is for the best. However, there are many instances when this philosophy prevents the characters of Candide from making rational decisions. For example, when Candide’s benefactor is drowning, “he wanted to dive to his rescue; but the philosopher Pangloss prevented him by proving that the bay of Lisbon has been formed expressly for this Anabaptist to drown in” (CITATION NEEDED). There are

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