Candide by Voltaire

Last Updated on 01/28/2023 by Sophia

Please make sure you make an appointment with the WRITING CENTER (ACE) to review your
paper for style and correct grammar usage PRIOR to handing it in. Those of you who know you
have difficulty with this aspect of paper writing should have already done so at the very
beginning of term, as you were advised to do. If you do not understand a term, search for it in
the dictionary, do not assume you know its meaning.
Here is your Paper Topic #2: DUE DATE 11/6/2019 (at 4:30pm—hand in AND
upload your paper on BB!)
(note: I have tried to explain in more detail what my questions are, I hope this helps! If you
have any questions please do not hesitate to EMAIL me prior to our next meeting!)

1. Consider Candide’s central characters: Candide and Pangloss. How are they
characterized in this novella? What are their most salient traits? What historical figure is
the author trying to “satirize” and whom does he use to do so; what specific
“philosophical perspective” is he satirizing? How does the mythic land of Eldorado figure
into this “satirical account”? How are the Europeans caricatured in this novella and
specifically with respect to the land of Eldorado?
2. How does the novella end and what does this imply about Voltaire’s point of view in
your final analysis of it? In other words, does this change your own perspective
regarding the author’s point of view—a perspective which you, as the reader, may have
formulated early on and through your reading of most of this text? Does the end of the
novella surprise you? If so, describe why this is the case.

Please note: please go back to your “guidelines for papers”; I will reiterate some points here:
please use 12 point font, Times New Roman, double-spaced, print front and back to save paper.
Do NOT leave more than the normal amount of space for headings at top, bottom, sides of each
page. Single spaced information at top of first page: your name, due date, course name, and
Paper #2 (Voltaire). No late assignments are accepted.




Candide is a satirical novel written by Voltaire in the year 1759. The story presents a
strong of a gentleman clinging on different beliefs of the world he lives in. Besides, Candide is a
bantering and witty tale based on satiric thrust and a classical savage of philosophical optimism
proclaiming human suffering and disasters. In this paper, the primary focus is to explore Candide
and Pangloss as the central characters. Also, the paper aims to consider how the novella ends in
line with the author’s point of view.

Analysis of Candide’s Central Characters

The two central characters in the novella are Candide and Pangloss. Candide is the
protagonist in the novella, who is kind-hearted despite being a hopeless naïve man. In the novel,
the author also characterizes Candide through salient traits as a simple young man who is an
effective and sympathetic hero. Candide follows the teaching of Pangloss as the primary mentor.
The author tries to satirize societal teachings by using Candide (Voltaire 24). Candide travels the
world, searching for a woman to love, where he learned that the lessons of Pangloss are not
always correct. The author also uses Candide’s life experiences by changing his optimistic
perception. His expulsion from the castle, he realized that philosophy has no significant
influence in daily life.
The author also presents Pangloss as a tutor as Thunder-ten-trench. Pangloss firmly
follows the philosophy of optimism. His salient traits as a fictional character make him an

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unfailing optimistic, and pedantic tutor. In the novella, the author satirizes optimism using
Pangloss as a symbol of foolhardy optimism. Pangloss believes in optimism by claiming that the
world is “the best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire 14). Voltaire satirizes optimism by criticizing
Pangloss by showing the absurdity of this philosophy using a hyperbole. That is, Pangloss fails
to allow Candide to save James the Anabaptist from drowning based on the fact that it was
supposed to happen.
The mythic land of Eldorado also figures in the satirical account in the novella because
the author presents as an embodiment of the author’s vision of an ideal society. Therefore,
Voltaire uses the mythic land of Eldorado to give the unfortunate realities of the world (Voltaire
23). Despite being a perfect land, Cacambo and Candide decide to leave to set themselves free
from sad realities. Also, the novella satirizes the Europeans through the “sentimental foibles of
the age.” Voltaire attacks the Europeans due to the flaws in their culture, as presented in the

The Ending of the Novella

The end of the novel is described as a “short, light, rapid, and humorous” (Voltaire 34).
The story ends when Candide, Pangloss, and Martin meet a local farmer. The farmer offers them
a meal before they start talking about Viziers’ execution in Constantinople. Throughout the
novella, Martin, Pangloss, and Candide could not work together. The author also presents how
Candide moves from the land of Eldorado to run from the philosophy of optimism embraced by
Pangloss. However, things appear different at the end of the novella. While in the house of the
local farmer, Martin, Pangloss, and Candide work together. Therefore, the end surprises me and
changes my initial analysis because Pangloss, Candide, and Martin manage to conclude that
“working hard is the only way to make life tolerable” (Voltaire 23). Although Pangloss continues

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to philosophize his philosophy of optimism, at least he agrees with Candide that man is not born
for idleness.

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Work Cited

Voltaire, Laurine. Candide. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2018. Print.