Voltaire's Use Of Optimism In Candide

Good Essays
When all hope becomes shrouded in hopelessness and despair, can anyone remain optimistic? In the story of Candide by Voltaire, the idea of optimism and philosophy is heavy satire. In his writing, Voltaire puts Candide in situations that are heavily fantasized with exaggerated coincidence. Voltaire played with this idea to keep readers interested in Candide’s adventure and always have a reason not to create new scenarios and characters as the story progress. Candide’s adventure would also serve Voltaire as a means to reflect to his reader on how he felt on certain topics at the time. Over time Voltaire’s work became popular due to the way it parodied serious topics and grab the intention of readers. The story of Candide challenges the idea …show more content…
One of the topics reoccurring in the story is the association of greed. In Candide’s adventure, he stumbles upon the lost of city of El Dorado, where the city is made entirely out of gold and the people live in utopian society. Sadden that this perfect society lacked his love; he leaves the city to continue his search for Cunegonde and is given rarities from the island to aid him. These rarities consist of gold, diamond, etc. which lead to problems. He was robbed in multiple occasions and he was often deceived by people. Candide used his fortune to free several of his friends, due to many of them falling prey to slavery. For example he runs into Paquette (now a prostitute) and a monk named Brother Giroflee, who are miserable following the events that led them here. Seeing their dismay, he gives them each enough money to ease their sorrows. Martin (his companion) states that his money “may make them even unhappy then they once where”. Paquette and Brother Girofleee make an appearance at the end of story, now being shadows of their former selves. Voltaire continues his belief on greed by having Martin remark that his “gifts would soon be squandered and would only render them

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Mr Wilson said, “You may fool me, but you can’t fool God” (Chapter 8). People continually rely on money to cover up their actions. Nick notices that this society is one of dishonesty and wealth, not the society he hoped for in the beginning. He now simply condemns his neighbors’ lavish lifestyles (The Big Read, Gioia). He realizes that this life, sooner or later, will crumble and fall under the greediness of the people.…

    • 1073 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As a servant for Thomas More, Matthew is a member of the lower class with common moral values. To Matthew, money is important for his survival because he is a poor member of the lower class. Matthew’s need for money leads him to easily be bribed which consequently leads him to betray More. After More is appointed Chancellor, Cromwell gains information on More by bribing Matthew with money. Matthew provides Cromwell with information on More’s weaknesses, stating that More is “worried, sir...Frightened” (40).…

    • 1257 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Moreover, when the pirate, Vanderdendur, stole most of his wealth, he hired Martin, the pessimist, to accompany him. Here, one can see how money caused Candide to lose his happiness, as is the danger of wealth. Candide shows one the dangers of wealth and the disparity of poverty. The novel shows one how the powerful gain influence over the poor and creates a class system, but given the choice, the protagonist chose to leave a land of perfectness to go back to the lands of said conflicts. In the end, Candide realizes the folly of his decision to leave, and he forgoes all of the silly philosophies of the poor and of the rich.…

    • 736 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Pip dropped hints in hopes Mrs. Havisham would contribute and even spent more and more time over there even though he was miserable over half the time. Pip starts becoming snobby and selfish when an anonymous person donates their fortunes to him becoming a gentlemen and moving to London. Narcissistic personality disorder involves arrogant behavior (Bushman). “‘Now Biddy’, I said ‘ I am very sorry to see this in you. I did not expect to see this in you.…

    • 1592 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Marullo believes that “business is money and that money is not friendly.”(75) This goes against Ethan’s ethical values. Ethan starts to see this world as a dark place, which only seems to creep slowly towards him. He starts to realize that his families’ happiness depends on wealth; his wife constantly complains that they should be getting rich someday. We can see that Ethan is being persuaded to do something wrong by many people for the sake of money. He is offered a deal from Mr.…

    • 1224 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Candide Writing Assessment Candide is a satirical work that focuses around how someone sees the world. For Pangloss and his philosophy, the world could only bring out good and everything eventually could be traced back to a good consequence. Candide was a great believer in this philosophy and always tried to be optimistic. This blind optimism, though, could not always hold up. When Candide is with Martin and sees the crippled slave, he just could not see how any good could come about because of his condition.…

    • 806 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    My 8 Plot Ideas

    • 1122 Words
    • 4 Pages

    A person with a taste for bloodshed also has a taste for being very promiscuous. Deep down under his borderline psychotic tendencies, he 's just a lonely person who desires the counsel of another, just like anyone else would and knows a rich kid can give it to him. My 9th plot idea about a rich kid who has been dating w futa for a while now and everything was going fine. However, things change when he runs into her crossdressing brother (can be changed to friend or something else) who aggressive to him, often tries to break them up, always talk about how he dislikes him and etc. Eventually he ends the relationship with her and beings to start the next chapter in his life.…

    • 1122 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He tells the pilgrims in lines five and six, "Thus I preach against the very vice I make my living out of – avarice." He preaches about it but the greed doesn’t show up till the conclusion of his tale. When death gives the men a pile of gold, each desires more for themselves than the third they would originally receive. The Pardoner preaches the sin of greed to be so terrible that the brothers are willing to deceive each other to gain a greater fortune. With the death of all three by the end, he 's giving the pilgrims a sales pitch, letting him indulge in his greed.…

    • 1205 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    His convincing rhetoric and impassioned fervor ‘forces’ the reader into sympathizing with him and his cause. In his essay, he begins to expand on his arguments by initially asking the reader: “What do you want?” [McKevitt 144], compelling his audience to gather that information about themselves to derive a personal conclusion. Throughout his essay, he also continuously uses the word “unhappy” to install the idea of prevalent dissatisfaction in order to scare or frighten. His persuasive tone was the most effective strategy in his writing for numerous reasons; he toyed with the reader’s belief of happiness, indirectly attacked the audience for contributing to our waste problem, and asked us a broad question to coerce us into thinking privately. Speaking only of his art of persuasive writing, he was quite successful in that…

    • 1190 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Many men are greedy when they want something very badly and can cross any limits, like done by Odysseus’ men and the suitors of Penelope. People tell immense lies when they know that what they are doing is wrong and still try to hide them like done by the suitors and Circe, the bewitching queen of Aeaea. Many people act rudely when they want show that they are superior than everyone else, similar to the rude behavior displayed by the suitors and Irus, one of the beggars in Ithaca. “Some people create their own storms, then get upset when it rains.” This is exactly what happened with the people mentioned all through the essay. People themselves behave terribly, do bad deeds and then get upset and frightened when they get punished as happened in The…

    • 1428 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays