"Candide" by Voltaire.

Essay by missa79College, Undergraduate September 2003

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In the book Candide, by Voltaire, Candide is an inexperienced young man who believes in a philosophy of optimism. Initially, through the teachings of Dr. Pangloss, Candide views their world as "the best of all possible worlds"# and that "everything is for the best."# Gradually, however, Candide loses this belief and begins to use reason. During Candide's journey, he meets numerous different people who help him see the world for how it really exists. In the real world, Candide's experiences clearly contradict Pangloss's optimism. Candide begins to view the world as a terrible place full of cruelty, suffering, and evil.

When Candide kisses the Baron's daughter, the Baron sees this and throws Candide out of Thunder-Ten-Tronckh. Candide had no place to eat, or stay in Westphalia, so he went to a small village outside of Westpahalia. Upon his arrival, he met some Bulgars who offered Candide food and shelter.

Candide would not accept, but the Bulgars insisted. Candide believed that it was for the best that he accept the proposal. The men place irons around Candide's legs and take him to the regiment. The next day, Candide goes for a walk and his forced back to the regiment by four men. After he is taken to the court-martial, Candide is punished by 2000 men from the regiment. At this point, Candide begins to see how different the world is. Little does he know that the worst is yet to come.

After escaping from the Bulgars, Candide travels to Holland. He had heard that "everyone in that country was rich and a Christian"#, and he assumed that he would be treated as well as he was at the palace. He approached a man who was just speaking about charity and Candide asks him for some bread. The man...