Thursday, January 23, 2020

Essay --

Candide by Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) is a critique of the â€Å"all for the best† philosophy that Christians keenly followed in the mid-1700s. Voltaire is a famous philosopher from the Enlightenment period. He wrote about his perspective on certain issues existent in the world and addressed them in various ways. In Candide, he specifically used French satire to criticize a popular notion of the 18th century stating that all things, good or bad, are for the best. Voltaire himself was an anti-religious man and he rejected this philosophy that all things happen for a reason; this concept seemed highly irrational, unreasonable, and unnatural to him. He felt that it was dangerous for people to think that God has a plan and that if something bad happens in His plans, its still all for the best. He used many utilities to prove his point, including satire and irony. He displayed various themes throughout the story and indirectly targeted his audience with sarcasm. He created va rious characters to represent the different types of people he was targeting. Even the names of the people were satirical. The word Candide, for example, literally means â€Å"naà ¯ve† and â€Å"childlike honesty†. Pangloss, another major character, means â€Å"all tongue†. By doing so, Voltaire was able to play with his readers on every page of the book. Candide was repeatedly put into situations of good fortune only to have that good fortune taken from him by some unexpected tragedy: there was a constant cycle of one good thing happening followed by a bad thing. A good thing happened to fix the previous bad thing, but the bad thing could only be prevented if the good thing never happened. For example, in the beginning of the story, Candide kissed the Baron’s daughter whom he h... ... Enlightenment philosophy or Voltaire’s specific criticisms in mind. It then becomes a very interesting and compelling story. With Voltaire’s notion in mind, one can appreciate the story’s wit and philosophical perspective on the world. Enlightenment philosophers found religion to be irrational and unreasonable and preferred to view things from a more natural perspective; that things do not happen for a reason, they just happen. When they happen, they come with consequences, good or bad, that can or cannot be justified. Candide is both excellent not only in how it utilizes satire and irony, but also because it is appealing to the reader in how it uses philosophy to tell a story. Candide is often claimed to be Voltaire’s best work. It is a philosophical masterpiece that even today can be revered and appreciated by readers years after the Enlightenment era has passed.

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