Essays /

Candide Optimism Essay

Essay preview

In Candide, Voltaire sought to point out the flaws of Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of optimism and the hardships brought on by the inaction toward the evils of the world. Voltaire's use of satire, and its techniques of exaggeration and contrast highlight the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when men are meekly accepting their fate. Leibniz, a German philosopher and mathematician of Voltaire's time, developed the idea that the world they were living in at that time was "the best of all possible worlds." This systematic optimism shown by Leibniz is the philosophical system that believed everything already was for the best, no matter how terrible it seemed. In this satire, Voltaire showed the world was full of natural disasters and brutality. Voltaire also used contrast in the personalities of the characters to convey the message that Leibniz's philosophy should not be dealt with any seriousness.

Leibniz theorized that G-d, having the ability to pick from an infinite number of worlds, chose this world, "the best of all possible worlds. (http://www-personal.umich.edu/leibniz.htm)" Although Voltaire chose that simple quality of Leibniz's philosophy to satirize, Leibniz meant a little more than just that. Even though his philosophy stated that G...

Read more

Keywords

/features/candide/optimism/default.asp). /leibniz.htm) /leibniz.htm). 000 30 abarian abil accept accord across act admir admit advisor affect almost alreadi also although anoth answer arriv avail avoid basi battl beaten behavior believ best blind brain brought brutal bulgarian bullet burn candid captur caus charact cheer children choic choos chose comment contact contain continu contradict contrast convey countri coupl cours creat credenc cruel d dealt definit demonstr describ develop dine disast disastr disembowel dismemb doesn dorado dr earli earthquak easili effect el encourag england entir epitom even everyday everyth evil exagger exampl execut exhibit exist extrem fact failur faith fatal fate find fire flaw follow friend friesian.com friesian.com/leibniz.htm). full g g-d gauntlet general german get girl given goe good gottfri great greatest group happi hardship harm head hero highlight hotel human idea implaus imposs impression inact includ infinit influenc inhuman innoc instanc instead institut intern invit involv jail journey kill know knowledg law lead least leibniz lend life lisbon liter littl live locat lose made main make mani martin materi mathematician matter mean meant meek meet men mention messag moral much must mythic naiv name natur necessari need nose novella number occurr optim optimist other outsid pangloss paquett peac peopl perfect person pessimist philosoph philosophi pick place plead pleasur poem point possibl progress propon prove purpos qualiti quarrelsom question rape rational real realiti realiz receiv regard regiment repli rever ridicul rule run said satir say seem seen seren serious shortcom show shown simpl sing situat six smash soldier soon sought spectacl state stick still stori suffer suggest system systemat take techniqu tell terribl theori theoriz thing thirti thirty-six though thought time tongu took tortur toward train translat tri twelv two uncondit unfortun unjustifi upheld upon use view villag violent virtu voltair von vulgar wager walk want war wear whatev whole whose william win windbag wit without women won world would write wrote www-personal.umich.edu www-personal.umich.edu/leibniz.htm) www.ericjonas.com www.ericjonas.com/features/candide/optimism/default.asp). young youth