Candide by Voltaire:What is the relationship between Candide's adventures and Pangloss's teachings?

Essay by BigbadMike2222High School, 10th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Downloaded 72 times


1) What is the relationship between Candide's adventures and Pangloss's teachings?

In Candide, we see lives filled with struggles and tragedy. Although Candide witnessed and fell victim to worldly evils of cruelty and suffering, he maintained his optimistic views through much of the novel. Candide picked up this idea of optimism through Pangloss's teachings. Although he did not see any good reasons to disbelieve Pangloss's teachings while living in the Baron's castle, once in the outside world, Candide experiences many tragic events that make him, and the reader, question the philosophy of optimism. Candide's adventures, starting when he is kicked out of the Barons castle, clearly represented an imperfect world, full of atrocities that contradicted Pangloss's teachings.

The events that break apart Pangloss's teachings begin almost immediately when Candide is thrown in the streets to live on his own. He runs into recruiting officers of the King of Bulgars.

They have him toast to the health of their king, but then beat Candide severely and put irons on his legs. Luckily though, the king comes by and tells them to spare Candide since he is innocent. Soon after that, Candide witnesses an awful, bloody battle between two armies. This horrible spectacle shows us how hateful and violent people are in this world. Later, he finds a beggar who turns out to be Pangloss. Pangloss shares some of the horrible things he had been put through and that Candide's one and only love had been raped and her entire family had been murdered when the Baron's castle had been taken over.

Once with Pangloss, he has many new adventures. While out at sea with Pangloss and Jacques, a violent storm occurred and destroyed their ship. Many innocent passengers are killed including Jacques, who...