Paper on Candide by Voltaire

This essay has a total of 923 words and 7 pages.

Candide by Voltaire

My book report is on Candide by Voltaire and consists
of 326 pages. Voltaire's Candide is the story of an
innocent man's experiences in a mad and evil world,
and his struggle to achieve happiness without having
to work and taking the easy way out of all situations.
Everyone has to work and eventually they will achieve
happiness and joy but in Candide's case, after a long
and difficult struggle in which Candide is forced to
overcome misfortune to find happiness, he concludes
that all is not that easy and that he must work in
order to find even a small amount of pleasure in life.
Candide grows up in the Castle of Westphalia
and is taught by the learned philosopher, Dr.
Pangloss. Candide is abruptly exiled from the castle
when found kissing the Baron's daughter,
Cunegonde. Devastated by the separation from
Cunegonde, his true love, Candide sets out to
different
places in the hope of finding her and achieving total
happiness. On his journey, he faces a number of
misfortunes, among them being tortured during army
training, yet he continues to believe that there is a
"cause and effect" for everything. Candide is
reunited with Cunegonde, and regains a life of
prosperity,
but soon all is taken away, including his beloved
Cunegonde. He travels on, and years later he finds
her
again, but she is now fat and ugly. His wealth is all
gone and so is his love for the Baron's daughter.
Throughout Candide, we see how accepting situations
and not trying to change or overcome obstacles
can be damaging. Life is full of struggles, but it
would be nonproductive if people passively accepted
whatever fate had in store for them, shrugging off
their personal responsibility. Voltaire believes that

people should not allow themselves to be victims. He
sneers at naive, accepting types, informing us
that people must work to reach their utopia (Bottiglia
93).
In Candide, reality and "the real world" are
portrayed as being disappointing. Within the
Baron's castle, Candide is able to lead a Utopian
life. After his banishment, though, he recognizes the

evil of the world, seeing man's sufferings. The only
thing that keeps Candide alive is his hope that
things will get better. Even though the world is
filled with disaster, Candide has an optimistic
attitude
that he adopted from Dr. Pangloss' teachings. In
spite of his many trials, Candide believes that all is

well and everything is for the best. Only once, in
frustration, does he admit that he sometimes feels
that
optimism is "the mania of maintaining that all is well
when we are miserable" (Voltaire 41). Candide's
enthusiastic view of life is contrasted with, and
challenged by the suffering which he endures
throughout the book. Voltaire wrote this book in a
mocking and satirical manner in order to express
his opinion that passive optimism is foolish (Richter
134).
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