Voltaire's 'Candide'

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Candide Candide was a man who grew up in the Baron’s Castle under the protection of a philosopher named Pangloss. Pangloss was the man who directed Candide onto the path of his belief that everything that happens in the world was for the best. They both had very optimistic views on life, which was tested by many disasters. Candide falls head over heels for the Baron’s daughter, Cunegonde, but when they share a kiss, they are caught by the Baron, who banishes Candide from his castle. Independent for the first time, he strays all over the world to figure out his life. After enlisting into the Bulgar army, escaping, traveling to Holland, then to Lisbon, he is reunited with Cunegonde thanks to the old woman. They agreed to get married, but due…show more content…
When he meets the old woman in Lisbon, she challenged him and Cunegonde to ask every person they meet to tell their story. She said in some way or another, they will all have their own story as to why they are suffering, which is exactly what happens. She is trying to teach them to look beyond themselves to recognize everyone deals with struggles that are seemingly impossible to over come. Sometimes, Candide came come across some who seemed happy but once he heard their stories they were among the unhappiest people. Even though Candide questioned his beliefs numerous times throughout the story, he still believed in the philosophy of optimism and that every man has free will. However, Candide starts to doubt that maybe the philosophy of optimism is not the answer when he meets the Turk, a man who devotes his philosophy to working on a small farm with his children and ignoring external events. The Turk shows him one should just mind their own business while taking care of their responsibilities. The Turk illustrates this when he says “[m]y children help me to farm it, and we find that the work banishes those three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty” (143). This is one of the reasons Candide constantly questioned his beliefs. The Turk was the first to actually look happy and be happy. This was what Candide was looking to find the whole time on his journey. Voltaire uses the Turk and his family to emphasize the theme that humanity has free will. It demonstrates life is a constant choice but with optimism, any struggle can lead to
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