Essay 1 Voltaire - Meek 1 Austin Meek ENGL 2210/ Essay 1...

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Meek 1 1Austin Meek ENGL 2210/ Essay 1 Leslie Whatley 31 March 2008 “We Must Cultivate Our Garden” In Voltaire’s Candide , he sought to point out the wrong in Gottfried William von Leibniz's theory of optimism and the hardships brought on by not acting toward the evils of the world. He portrayed this through the actions and philosophical thinking by the characters during their journey of adversity. In the end, most of the characters found the true philosophy on life, according to the belief of Voltaire, which was to keep the mind, “. . . from three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty,” and to “. . . cultivate your garden” (580). Voltaire's use of satire, and his exaggeration and contrast highlights the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when men are diligently accepting of their fate. Leibniz, a German philosopher and mathematician during Voltaire's life, developed the thought that the world they were living in at the time was "the best of all possible worlds." This sense of optimism shown by Leibniz is the philosophy that believed everything already was for the best, no matter how terrible the world seemed and no matter how many terrible things had happened to someone (Candide- A Contrast to Optimisim). In this satire, Voltaire showed this “best of all possible worlds” full of natural disasters and brutality. Voltaire also used differences in the personalities of the characters to send the message that Leibniz's optimism on life should not be viewed seriously. Voltaire’s religion was Deism, and it is widely supported and portrayed in Candide . The
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Meek 2 existence of Eldorado was the proof that there can be a place free of turmoil if men had a better connection with nature and God. The farm in the end was a future Eldorado for the characters, as long as they worked and became liquidated to the world God had created, changing with the times with no reasoning (Van Pelt). Candide tried to philosophize his way through all his troubles, and in the end all that felt right and good did not make him happy. He no longer even loved Cunegonde, because she had grown ugly and hard to take care of (578). While Martin had vaguely shown deism thinking when he said, “. . . that he may be in me as well as elsewhere; but I assure you, as I survey this globe, or globule, I think that God has abandoned it . . . "(555), Candide’s character was the main subject to portray Voltaire’s message of Deism, and he was the
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course ENGL 2210 taught by Professor Horn during the Spring '08 term at Auburn University.

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Essay 1 Voltaire - Meek 1 Austin Meek ENGL 2210/ Essay 1...

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