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Voltaire's Candide Essay - Words | Cram

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Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume V oltaire , Candide. A dams V oltaire , Candide. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Candide marvels on what is the best way to approach life.

From the story a reader can identify that Candide has been educated in a system that encourages optimism and it appears that this is all he knows. However, he doubts the philosophy of optimism and ultimately rejects it.

His quest focuses on whether the dogma of optimism as taught by the Dr. Pangloss holds any truth. If it is true, Candide experiences must then be reconciled with optimism.

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However this is not possible without some illogical suppositions. For instance, Dr. The theme of human condition and optimism cannot be separated in the story as they go hand in hand.

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The very first lesson that Candide learns is that it is impossible to have effect without having a cause, and that everything in the world is made to serve a specific end. This summarizes the dogma of optimistic determinism. The believers in this story holding to the Christian faith react to this religious predicament by applying a cogent understanding to the occurrence of evil by using the examination of cause and effect to rationalize every particular incident of evil in expression of the greater good to come out of the predicament.

In addition both Candide and Pangloss hold true that all things are for the best in all possible worlds. This thought is a reductively shortened version of the philosophies held by quite a number of Enlightenment thinkers.


Another theme lucid in the novel is the theme of love and happiness. All through the novel, Candide is in pursuance of the love of his life: Cunegonde.

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Instead of the two being happy for the two and appreciating the mutual love the two share, they prefer to see her married to a baron. Hypocrisy of religion is also clear in the novel. This is witnessed in the onset of the novel when Candide is kicked from his Castle and escapes from the armies attacking to where Candide meets an orator.


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Candide was hoping to find compassion and generosity from the believers but instead, he is turned away by this orator who was preaching charity just because of his differing religious beliefs. This goes on to show the intolerance and hypocrisy of religion. Finally, among other themes, the theme of money and its corrupting power of greed is also prevalent in this novel. When Candide, obtains a fortune in Eldorado, it seems that some of his worst problems could be over.

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Physical injuries and arrest do not pose as threats anymore owing to the fact that he can corrupt and bribe his way out of many situations. Nonetheless, he is more discontented as a wealthy man.

Voltaire's 'Candide' Summarized and Explained, with Will Durant

As a matter of fact, his optimism seems to be at the lowest after he is cheated by a Vanderdendur; it is after this incident that he chooses to make Martin, a pessimist, his travelling companion. His wealth and money seems to attract false friends. Greed and jealousy seems to be the only resultants of money. From the story, the theme of money and the associated problems of power, greed, and corruption is brought out and it is clear that money and the power that comes with it creates as many problems as it strives to solve.