Voltaire's Candide: Literary Analysis

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Voltaire’s Candide is a short novel that depicts a journey of a man as he finds his ‘true love’. The story was written to challenge philosophical optimism, a belief that suffering and evil was necessary, and that God produced said suffering to test humans. Voltaire, a man named François-Marie Arouet, best known by his pen name, wrote the short novel the 1700s as a response to Rousseau’s ideas on philosophical optimism, and the idea that suffering is part of God’s plan . Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a philosopher in the 18th century who believed that took God’s existence for granted, and believed that this perfect figure would not create anything but a perfect world. Through acts of resurrection within the text, Voltaire explores societal elements such as greed, hypocrisy, and philosophical optimism, and ultimately suggests that said components cannot be changed or eliminated from society. The idea of resurrection, or the restoration of one’s life, can be traced back to the people of ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern societies. This idea of rebirth…show more content…
Candide lives a privileged life that abruptly terminates when he is caught behind a curtain with Cunégonde, the sister of Candide’s patron (the Baron). Once he is banished from the castle, Candide tells himself and others that he will always want to marry Cunégonde, and he goes on an extensive journey to find her. He is briefly reunited with Cunégonde, but she decides to abandon her future with Candide and marries the Don Fernando, the governor of Buenos Aires. Cunégonde becomes his mistress despite her engagement to Candide. Candide is finally encounters Cunégonde again, much to his suspicion as he believed her dead, but she has aged and is no longer the same beautiful girl. After this “resurrection”, Candide had changed his mind about wanting to be with the girl. In other words, Candide no longer wishes to be with Cunégonde because she is no longer physically

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