Voltaire's "Candide": Response Paper

Essay by Prue750College, Undergraduate December 2006

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I think that there is a natural blindness to the reality of the world. People tend to see what they want to see, instead of, perhaps, what they need to see. I think that this "voluntary blindness" causes many problems in society. For one, we don't see what happens with other countries. True, this is also due to the media and the lack of attention given to foreign issues, but if Americans really wanted to know what was going on in the world, there are ways to find out. In reality, I think that there are many, many things that the US government chooses to ignore or not let the public know about, which causes other countries to think that we are an inconsiderate nation that only cares about ourselves. And since this government of ours is the one speaking "for the people" I guess that means that we ARE that way.

That's pathetic. I'm not that way!

I went to Australia for 10 days about a year and a half ago. I traveled with my choir and we had the opportunity to stay in homesteads. Within that week and a half of living with Australians, I learned more about conflicts on our planet, general going-ons of other countries, and non-American interpretations of America, than I think I will ever learn with a week and half of living here. I remember learning about some major conflict that was going on in China, right before I came home, and after coming home I heard nothing about it. How was that possible?! This issue was about deaths and controversy within the Chinese government and yet the US didn't care a thing about it. This "voluntary ignorance" is astonishing to me.

Regarding Voltaire, I think that he saw this ignorance of the world,