Voltaire 's Candide : A Perpetual Guard Of The Ethics Of Optimism

1513 Words Oct 14th, 2016 7 Pages
As an ironic story that focuses on many problems dealing with philosophy and theology, Voltaire’s “Candide” stands to clarify and possibly teach a lesson to the people that would hold too much faith in these philosophies. Many catastrophic events happen to the lead character, Candide, as well as just about every other character in the story, in order to focus on the problems that lie in detaching yourself from responsibility of their own actions leaving it to God, to fate, or to nature when the obligation lies within their own self, as our world is definitely not “the best of all possible worlds”. He makes a suggestion that humankind should absorb themselves in daily activities instead of brooding on trivial things that man cannot honestly understand; thus the final sentence, “we must cultivate our garden”. Nobody could have been more wrapped-up with these philosophies than Candide’s tutor Pangloss, a perpetual guard of the ethics of optimism. Even in the faultiest of situations, as a hobo, who was infested with syphilis, he states that “It was something indispensable in the best of worlds, a necessary ingredient; for, if Columbus in an island of America had not caught this disease . . . we should not have chocolate and cochineal”. A justification like this seems unheard of given his deathly sickness and opens up about his philosophy, stating that his optimism is not without flaws. Perhaps if Pangloss had busied himself with work rather than…

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