The Enlightenment Period

1499 Words 6 Pages
During the enlightenment period there were many changes going on in the world, in particular the literature that was being produced during that time. The enlightenment period was also known as the age of reason, and the movement into the idea deism. These changes can be characterized in many distinct ways, which can be exemplified through the works of Candide by Voltaire. In this travel narrative, the main character, Candide, explores and adventures to newly discovered countries and places, in which Voltaire illustrates what was happening during this time and commentates his opinions through satire in the works of Candide. With its movement away from religion and towards reason, enlightenment style of philosophy, and views and treatment of …show more content…
In Candide there were many philosophers, which expressed different ideas of philosophy, however there was one character/ philosopher that allowed Voltaire to get his point across. This main philosopher, Pangloss, was used satirically in order to mock the Enlightenment philosophers due to their obvious observations and blind optimism within their philosophy. Voltaire used Pangloss as a way to attack the dogmatic beliefs of this time period because philosophers in the enlightenment period were known for their refusal to change their beliefs regardless of the real life situations that occurred. In Pangloss' view he believed that everything that happens was for the best, therefore offered an excuse for all the awful things that occurred during throughout the story. Through this Voltaire was able to connect Candide to the enlightenment period. During the time that Candide was written a breakout of influenza and syphilis occurred in both the book and real life. In Health and Wellness in the Renaissance and Enlightenment by Joseph P. Byrne Ph.D. it is stated, "an ancient disease, influenza was common in Europe, and it probably arrived in the Americas,” (Byrne). Similar to the story of Candide, Pangloss also contracted syphilis around this time. In response to the contraction of this disease Pangloss stated, "it was a thing on avoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of world; four of Columbus had not in an island of America cop this disease, which contaminates the source of life, frequently even hinders generation, and which is evidently opposed to the great end of nature, we should have neither chocolate nor cochineal,” (Voltaire). These signs of blind optimism from the philosophers were common in the enlightenment period and Voltaire used Pangloss as a way of effectively mocking the Enlightenment philosophers. Voltaire is successful in mocking the

Related Documents