Essay on The Novel ' Candide '

1402 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
The book Candide is a satire written by in the 1700s. In this novel the author, Voltaire, is satirizing enlightenment philosophers who believe that everything is good in the world, since a good God created the world. Throughout the Novel the protagonist, Candide, is faced with many challenges that work to shape his own ideology. Initially Candide is an optimistic, inexperienced and uneducated young boy but as he struggles, and experiences the worst in the world, it works against his optimism, highlighting Voltaire’s belief that philosophical optimism is foolish and unjustified.
Candide was born into a simple and well off lifestyle. He is a naïve character who cannot form philosophical reasoning on his own. His initial outlook on life was given to him from his instructor Pangloss. Candide believes in everything that Pangloss says, even if simple reason shows it is obviously flawed. “Pangloss gave instruction in metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology. He proved admirably that there cannot possibly be an effect without a cause…Observe: noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles. Legs, as anyone can plainly see, were made to be breeched, and so we have breeches” (p. 4). Pangloss is awry to say that noses were made for glasses and legs for pants when it is the other way around and Candide doesn’t question Pangloss’ illegitimate theory. In addition to being unable to use reason Candide is a sponge for Pangloss’ optimism. “’Not at all," replied this great man,…

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