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Analysis of Voltaire’s philosophy in Candide Essay Sample

Works Cited

Beck, Ervin. "Voltaire's Candide." Explicator57.4 (1999): 203. Literary Reference Center. Web. This is a rather interesting source that actually contextualizes the content of Candide in terms of the structure. Bech makes a number of eminent points that less prudent readers might very well miss. For example, he elucidates that the first 10 chapters of Candide occur in Europe, the next 10 take place in America, and the final 10 occur in Europe and Turkey.

Kerr, Calum a. "Voltaire's "Candide, or Optimism." Literary Contexts in Novels: Voltaire's 'Candide, or Optimism'(2008): 1. Literary Reference Center. Web. One of the most valuable aspects about this source is that it provides a comprehensive overview of the vents that transpire within Candide. It also analyzes the novel via a number of different lenses, including those pertaining to the social, religious, and biographical influences of the novel as they may have been viewed through Voltaire's time period. This is a good comprehensive overview to read before actually reading Voltaire's novel.

Ryden, Wendy. "Gateau or Baklava? The Price of Pastry in Voltaire's Philosophical Novel." Heldref Publications. 2009. 139-142. This source deals with the conclusion of Voltaire's novel, and the philosophical undercurrents that the conclusion suggests. The metaphor of Candide choosing to cultivate his garden while eschewing Pangloss' philosophy is elucidated. More importantly, this resource gives a prolonged look into the characterization Cudgeon and the disparate elements she represents in this tale.

Scherr, Arthur. "Candide's Pangloss: Voltaire's Tragicomic Hero." Romance Notes. 87-96. Print. This particular resource functions as a prolonged case study into the characterization of Pangloss. The author synthesizes several different outside sources while examining a number of different facets of Pangloss and the events that befell him in Candide. The malignity of his characterization is given due consideration, as well as the elements of both the tragic and the comic that Pangloss embodied. Most importantly, this source analyzes the progression of Pangloss and his philosophy, which actually does change and grow along with his student, Candide, throughout the progression of Voltaire's novel.

Scherr, Arthur. Voltaire's Candide. City University of New York. 74-76. Despite the relative brevity of this particular source, it is filled with a bevy of information pertaining to Voltaire's story. This is one of the few works of literary criticism written about Candide that focus on the Anabaptist Jacques, who is killed relatively quickly in the story. Scherr examines the perceived benign nature of Jacques, and reveals that like most of the other characters in Candide -- except for possibly Candide himself, Jacques was also motivated by selfish means and his reasons for helping Candide and Pangloss in their hour of need was merely a means for the Anabaptist to help himself.

Analysis of Voltaire’s philosophy in Candide ..

Candide; Character List; Table of Contents

Candide, or Optimism
(Candide, ou L’optimisme, 1759) Voltaire's "philosophical tale" (conte philosophique) follows the adventures and misadventures of its open-hearted, innocent, and extremely gullible title character, who has been instructed in Leibnizian optimism by his master, Dr. Pangloss, whose credo that this is "the best of all possible worlds" has been humorously but effectively shredded by story's end.

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Naive title character in Voltaire’s riotous satire. After a series of disastrous adventures have sorely tried his belief in the optimistic doctrines of his teacher Dr. Pangloss, Candide settles down with Pangloss, his beloved Cunegonde, and other companions of his wanderings, certain of one essential truth, that man must cultivate his garden.

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