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Essay Paper on Voltaire Candide

In “Candide” Voltaire aimed at criticizing a wide range of ‘evils’, such as corruption, war, natural disasters, greed, hypocrisy of church. Therefore the novel contains plenty of major and minor characters used by Voltaire in the depiction of those problems. The protagonist of the novel Candidade came across most extreme optimistic and pessimistic philosophical views by his travel companions. Candidate and his companions did a great job and dealing with chaotic situations and bringing an end to the story by moulding extreme philosophical viewpoint with proper balance between optimistic and pessimistic philology.

Candid begins in the novel as an immaculately innocent and naive person. Having been living in the castle for many years, he has very little knowledge of the world. Candide devoutly believed in the principle that “Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds” taught by his mentor Pangloss. Armed with it, he embarked on a long-lasting journey with the aim to ultimately unite with his beloved. While travelling, he observed or took part in a number of risky ventures, suffered tremendous hardships and through his experience and communication with his companions through them he gained different philosophical knowledge and reached at a much wiser and tempered outlook at life.

At first we can see that Candide made attempts to justify all his hardships holding faithful to Pangloss’s philosophy. He tried to reconcile all the horrors he witnessed with his mentor’s words and the rationale that “for private misfortunes make the general good, so that the more private misfortunes there are the greater is the general good.” However, his experience constantly contradicted this principle, often making Candide to conclude obsessed optimism as good to be miserable as Candide say to Paquette “you looked so gay and content when I met: you sang and you behaved so lovingly to Theatin, that you seemed to me as happy as you pretend to be now the reverse.”

Yet Candide did not totally dismiss Pangloss’s ideology until the very end of the novel. He repeatedly returned to it, tried to re-validate and apply it to different situations in his life, from the kindness of the stranger Jasques to the death of Vanderdendur. “You see, said Candide to Martin, “that crime is sometimes punished. This rouge of a Dutch skipper has met with the fate he deserved.” Nonetheless, the erosion of the principle of total optimism is clearly visible throughout the novel, while Candide realizes more and more that “Pangloss cruelly deceived him when he told him that all was for the best in the world.”

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