Voltaire And The Enlightenment

The world wouldn’t be the way it is today without the Enlightenment. If this drastic change in society had not occurred then the majority of countries might still be ruled over by monarchies, absolute and not. Voltaire is thought of as the main literary supporter of The Enlightenment. It was through his many controversial books that he spread his thoughts and what he believed was the truth and purpose of how governments and control over societies should be handled. These ideas are ever apparent within the books of Candide and Letters on England. Voltaire presents his reasoning and thus tone on religion. He also brings up the prospect of El Dorado, this Heaven on Earth, leaving us with the question of whether such a place actually could exist. …show more content…
All individuals have this inner instinct and desire to work for and accomplish what they have always dreamed of. This desire to complete goals leads and drives each and every person in society to actually follow up with their dreams. And this is where the second issue starts to arise. Sure it’s nice to receive anything that our hearts desire. There is always a sense of satisfaction when we are given anything, though this is only a minuscule and slightly unneeded chunk of our satisfaction. The rest is through when we are able to accomplish things for ourselves and give to others. No one in this world can live perfectly content just sitting around every day without having a genuine sense at least once in a while that they are actually doing something worthy of the continuation of their existence. Giving to others, or in other words having a love other than self-love is vital and mentioned by Voltaire, “It is the love of self that encourages a love of others, it is through our mutual needs that we are useful to the human race…It is this self-love which warns us to respect that of others.” (128) I feel Voltaire’s purpose on including this section on a make-believe city is to demonstrate just how insufficient and terrible that Europe is in comparison. El Dorado had a state of relative equality and demonstrated advanced science and …show more content…
With Martin, he always taught that the world is forever terrible to humans. Throughout all the misery and miracles that occur he is always eager to point out the negative aspects. Initially, Candide portrayed a rejection for these types of thoughts. Candide, constantly positive as he was said to Martin, “You’re a bitter man,” Martin replied “That’s because I’ve lived,” (92). And it’s off of this statement of why I believe that Candide finally accepts some of Martin’s negativity at the end. Candide has gone through misery after misery, without much to show for it now. All he has left now is his garden and home, and would much rather avoid thinking about the possibilities of what his current could potentially be like. And this also serves the purpose of why he rejects Pangloss’s attitude. Pangloss was a beacon of hope and positivity. Candide appears to be beyond the sight of this beacon and not have the mental ability to believe that life could get much better. It’s also just easier for Candide to give up hope, not just physically but also mentally after a life of seeking a promise that ended up proving not truly worth it. Though I do believe that even though Pangloss and Martin are so different they both still have the greatest virtue of all; the desire for better. It’s best written, “Which is worse…to suffer all the miseries we’ve all gone through – or to stay here doing

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