Voltaire's Candide: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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Tony Bui M Clazie AP LIT 5 September 2015 Actions Speak Louder than Words In the satirical novel, Candide by Voltaire, a young man named Candide faces many obstacles and adventures that change his perspective on the philosophy of life. As a child, Candide was educated by, Pangloss, a foolishly optimistic philosopher, whose view centered on the idea that ‘“all is for the best in this world”’ (38). Candide plays the character of the Initiation, as he grows and realizes the flaw in Pangloss’s philosophy. Since the start of the story, Candide has shown deep affection toward Cunegonde. However, the Star-crossed lovers are not granted permission to marry due to Candide’s insufficient social standing. In the end, the garden represents hope and…show more content…
Pangloss taught Candide the belief, that everything the world offered was the “best of all possible worlds” (19). Pangloss then added, “Stones were made to be hewn, and to construct castles—therefore my lord has a magnificent castle…” (19). From this, Pangloss suggests that since uranium can be ignited and constructed to make atomic bombs, they are for the best. Candide believes every word Pangloss tells him because of his imposing stature. “Pangloss was professor of metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology” (18-19). Candide never forgets Pangloss’s teachings, and carries the beliefs with him throughout his adventures. When Candide was caught in Lisbon for supporting Pangoss’s philosophy, he was publicly whipped and could not imagine how other possible worlds would be like if this one was best (63). Candide is naïve and believes the whipping is purposely done for good intentions. When Candide meets Martin, he enlightens Candide by suggesting, not all actions are for the better. When a thief stole Candide’s goods, Candide asserted that, “crime is sometimes punished…,” suggesting that the punishment was the good outcome (214). However, Martin argues that, ‘”God has punished knave, and the devil has drowned the rest”’ (214). Innocent people died from the thief’s actions. After suffering a variety of evils, Candide settled on a farm and realized that the actions of men highlight…show more content…
In the end, Candide learns that being optimistic just lead him to trouble. As he refutes Pangloss’s philosophy, he realizes that reality makes more sense. In the end, Pangloss even forces to disagree with his own philosophy. Happiness can only be discovered depending on how a person looks at it. Candide realizes that he should simply endure life and make the most of what he wants to accomplish. When Candide says, “Let us cultivate our garden...,” this suggests that are in control of their own lives and can make their own decisions (347-349). Overall, the best is not all of possible worlds, but rather

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