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Candide Travels

Essay by   •  June 26, 2011  •  Essay  •  397 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,894 Views

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Candide travels the globe from country to country encountering different people in different places but sort of over and over again finding despair, tragedy and misfortune. He believes that everything in the world is for the best, that everything is the best that it could possibly be and that he lives the best of all possible lives. He doesn't quit realize he feels this way because he lives an extremely sheltered and extremely wealthy life. He has to keep facing how difficult life is and how many people are not so fortunate as he was born.

One thing that that struck me about Candide was that he was true to his word. After spending many years with Pangloss, being influenced by his philosophy of optimism, he returned to Cunegonde as he had promised. In the process he kills the two men who held her as a sex slave. Another man would have probably rejected Cunegonde and viewed her as unclean. He didn't see the negativity in this situation but instead he embraced the philosophy of optimism.

Another situation could be viewed very differently. While on board a ship a sailor who almost fell off the ship and could have drown, Jaques did not feel like it was human to watch the situation so he rescued the sailor. However, unfortunately, Jaques fell overboard himself and drowned. Bystanders didn't have the same outlook as he did and decided this was his fate.

During his journey Candide comes in contact with a disfigured man. The man began to describe his life story. It struck me that he was trying to elicit Candide's sympathy and it worked. Candide felt compelled to give the man money. Again this is an example of Candide's optimism but what I also see as his naïve nature. There were a number of other instances when Candide was confronted by people who saw him as an easy mark. This caused him to question his optimistic view point.

Candide becomes affected by optimism in different ways throughout his life. His outlook on the world is challenged by several tragic miseries unbearable for any human being. The love he has for Cunegonde was constantly put to the test but in the end he finds her and married her just like he said he would

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