World Literature II (Honors)
World Literature II (Honors) ENGL 2112H
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tamara Block on Monday October 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 2112H at Georgia Southern University taught by Joseph Pellegrino in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 55 views. For similar materials see /class/222065/engl-2112h-georgia-southern-university in Foreign Language at Georgia Southern University.
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Date Created: 10/12/15
Julie Curlee Voltaire Candide 1 PCR 12610 A Candide s tutor was Pangloss Pangloss was a philosopher who without reason believed in extreme optimism or I J 39 quot 39 39 39 39 J 520 Pangloss claims that everything happens for the best that there is never an effect without a cause and that they live in the best of all possible worlds He also believes that everything happens the way it does because that is the way God wants it to happen Voltaire satirizes this optimism and thus the ideals of the enlightenment philosophers recurrently throughout the story For instance the narrator describes Westphalia the Baron s castle and his family as the best of all possible yet Candide was kicked out of Westphalia the castle is bland though it is described with enthusiasm and the baroness weighing in at three hundred and fty pounds is not what one would consider elegant The other characters all eventually realize that Pangloss s philosophy is irrational as they are continually faced with the world s cruelty Pangloss however remains stubborn in his belief even until death when he is hanged for speaking B There is no significant reason for the war between the Bulgars and the Abares This serves to illustrate Voltaire s contempt for war It is viewed as a cruelty of the world in which each opponent sees himself as good and the other as bad hence the repetition of the word hero In reality all that it amounts to is tremendous amounts of bloodshed as is described vividly in the story Here old men stunned from beatings watched the last agonies of their butchered wives who still clutched their infants to their bleeding breasts 523524 Again this war and the other con icts in the story criticize the optimistic 0 U enlightenment view and show the evils of the world namely the people of the world as they are the only ones that could improve its condition After escaping from the Bulgars Candide comes across a preacher who asks him if he believes that the Pope is the Antichrist Candide answers simply by saying I haven t considered the matter but whether he is or not I am in need of bread 524 The preacher reacts rashly exclaiming You don t deserve any away with you you rascal you rogue never come near me as long as you live 524 Ironically the man had been preaching about charity Voltaire uses this incidence to satirize religion and the misuse of it The preacher treated Candide this way because Candide is not interested in the preacher s accusations of the Pope because the hypocritical preacher is not truly concerned with the well being of others and because Candide is obviously poor and therefore can in the preacher s eyes be of no bene t to him If Candide were rich he may have been treated differently as is suggested by his later trip to France Perhaps the preacher is more concerned with the fame and power his preaching brings him Also the preacher may have acted so harshly to Candide because unlike the preacher s followers Candide did not immediately buy into his speech and therefore discredited him Voltaire uses the autodafe to once again satirize religion In this case he is satirizing the superstitious aspects of religion The narrator describes the situation men of the land could nd no more effective way of averting total destruction than to give the people a fine autodafe the University of Coimbra had established the spectacle of several persons being roasted over a slow fire with full ceremonial rites is an infallible specific against earthquakes 529 Five men including Pangloss and Candide were taken to ful ll this superstition All of the men were being accused of an act that did not conform with the religion of Lisbon For instance Pangloss was taken because he supposedly argued with an of cer of the Inquisition about original sin and free will by stating I most humbly be pardon of your excellency but the fall of man and the curse of original sin entered necessarily into the best of all possible worlds free will agrees very well with absolute necessity 528 Ironically the Inquisitor believed in free will but was hypocritical when it came to Pangloss s views The autodafe served as a sort of religious sacri ce to appease God Unfortunately Voltaire s use of this satire is not entirely exaggerated Historic events such as the Salem witch trials and the sacri ces made by America s indigenous peoples Aztec Inca ect relate closely to this story Word Count 735