'Candide' and the Enlightenment
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This essay analyzes Voltaire's novel 'Candide' and explains how well it expresses the ethos of the Enlightenment. The writer stresses at the onset that the novel indulges in broad satire, and that the particular target of the satire is the fatalistic philosophy of Liebniz. The writer explains the latter philosophy and shows how it embodies German idealism. The writer explains the ethos of the Enlightenment, which Voltaire is championing, and how it opposes German idealism. The writer then engages in an analysis of the plot elements of the story, in which reality is frequently and mercilessly juxtaposed with reality, showing how Voltaire lampoons Liebniz' concept of "the best of all possible worlds".
From the Paper:"The contrast between ideal and reality is laid out in the starkest terms which serve the purpose of broad satire best. Thus, both Candide and Miss Cunegonde have been tutored by the philosopher Dr Pangloss and cherish close to their hearts the ideal that all in the world is characterized as being the best of all possibilities. Voltaire describes how the outlook of Candide persists in the face of extreme tribulation. The purpose is to build up a consistent and unflagging picture of tragedy in the real world, and to juxtapose it to the Liebnizian idea of a perfect world. Candide's original quest was to earn an honest penny before he asked the hand of his sweetheart, the fairest and kindest soul in the world. In his innocence Candide is replete with virtue. But the moment he steps out into the real world it is shown how all his virtues and beautiful ideas are not going to earn him a penny. Instead it leads him from one misfortune to the next, and people take advantage of his innocence and virtue. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Voltaire. Candide and Other Stories. Translated by Roger Pearson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Jolley, Nicholas. Liebniz. Routledge, 2005.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
'Candide' and the Enlightenment (2011, January 13) Retrieved May 26, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/candide-and-the-enlightenment-146701/
"'Candide' and the Enlightenment" 13 January 2011. Web. 26 May. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/candide-and-the-enlightenment-146701/>