Candide By Voltaire

In Voltaireís Candide, Voltaire presents a story with a distinctive outlook on
life. He tells of a world that has gone mad and is laced with evil. Voltaire
questions optimism, philosophy, and absolutes. Through his story he exploits
absolutes such as: justice, happiness, true love, humanity, brotherhood, and
many others. He leaves the reader feeling that the world really is a cruel place
and that happiness is hard to come by. By using the main character Candide, a
naive and innocent optimist, Voltaire ridicules concepts such as: belief,
philosophy, religion, and absolutes in society. Candide and Pangloss are infact
used to show the ludicracy in complete optimism. Most of the remaining
characters, especially Martin are rational and pessimistic. But, Pangloss shows
how ridiculous optimism is through his irrational and inane feeling that
everything is for the better even after being hanged, dissected, and beaten.

Voltaire also makes commentary upon true love and happiness when Candide and

Martin discuss the joyful couple they see. Martin assures Candide that the
couple are hiding their pain and Candide argues that they are content, yet upon
further review we find out how really depressed the couple is. In addition to
the topic of happiness and true love Candide marries Cunegonde even though he is
no longer is in love with her and she cannot make him happy. This may prove

Martinís theory that "man was born to suffer." In conclusion, what looks
or sounds like true love and happiness, is only a front for depression and
anguish. Voltaire also debunks the absolutes of brotherhood and humanity in many
episodes of the story. For example the Portuguese Jews hanged simply because
they chose not to eat the bacon with their meal and when the good hearted

Anabaptist Jacque is killed upon the sinking vessel. These examples Voltaire has
chose to create convey the feeling that the world is cold and lacks a
recognizable purpose. At the end Cadide returns from the cold world and removes
himself from the corruption of society only to isolate himself in his work. Only
here can he safeguard himself from the evils abroad. This is the only place he
could find happiness even though he searched for it through out the world and
was rudely awakened finding himself discontent and craving something else.