Candide

This essay has a total of 800 words and 8 pages.

Candide


Voltaire's Candide is a philosophical tale of one man's

search for true happiness and his ultimate acceptance of life's

disappointments. Candide grows up in the Castle of

Westfalia 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. The theme of Candide is that one

must strive to overcome adversity and not passively accept it

in the belief that all is for the best. Candide's misfortune

begins when he is kicked out of the castle and experiences a

series of horrible events. Candide is unable to see anything

positive in his ordeals, contrary to Dr. Pangloss' teachings

that there is a cause for all effects and that, though we might

not understand it, everything is all for the good. Candide's

endless trials begin when he is forced into the army simply

because he is the right height, five feet five inches. In the

army he is subjected to endless drills and humiliations and is

almost beaten to death. Candide escapes and, after being

degraded by good Christians for being an anti-Christ, meets

a diseased beggar who turns out to be Dr. Pangloss. Dr.

Pangloss informs him that Bulgarian soldiers attacked the

castle of Westfalia and killed Cunegonde - more misery! A

charitable Anabaptist gives both Candide and Dr. Pangloss

money and assistance. Dr. Pangloss is cured of his disease,

losing one of his eyes and one of his ears. The Anabaptist

takes them with him on a journey to Lisbon. While aboard

the ship, the Anabaptist falls overboard in the process of

rescuing a crew member. Candide finds it more and more

difficult to accept Dr. Pangloss' principle that all is for the

best. In Lisbon there is an earthquake which kills thousands

of people, throwing the city into ruins. Later, Dr. Pangloss is

hung as part of an auto-de-fe. Candide is miraculously taken

in by an old woman and is brought to his love, Cunegonde.

She tells him of the torture she suffered and how she barely

survived. She further explains that she was "shared" by a

Jew named Don Issachar and the Grand Inquisitor. Candide

kills the two men and escapes with Cunegonde and the old

woman. At this point we begin to see Candide struggling and

fighting to make his existence worthwhile, in the hope that he

and Cunegonde would marry and live happily ever after. We

saw Candide taking matters into his own hands, instead of

Continues for 4 more pages >>




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