Midterm Essays

Midterm Essays - Midterm Essays 7 The characters in Candide seem to be impervious to consequences resulting from their actions Each and every

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Midterm Essays 7. The characters in “Candide” seem to be impervious to consequences resulting from their actions. Each and every character, save one, is resurrected in some cases repeatedly. The characters continually place themselves in perilous situations, many of which result in their deaths, and yet they are resurrected in such a way as to make them immune from suffering the consequences. For instance the Baron’s son, who was killed during the attack on and destruction of his father’s house, was revived by a Jesuit and moved up through the ranks of that order to the position of colonel. He was fulfilling the duties of this position when Candide ran across him again in Paraguay. After a great and friendly reunion between the two cousins, during which Candide informed the Baron (his father is dead so he inherits the title) of the whereabouts and relative good health of his sister Cunégonde. Candide then proceeds to tell him of his great love for Cunégonde and of the fact that she had promised to be his wife, except that the governor of Buenos Ayres, having taken a liking to her himself had basically kidnapped her and made her his mistress, which causes Candide to flee for his life. The Baron is thrilled to hear that his sister is alive and well but instantly turns on Candide when he hears of his plan to marry her. Candide kills him and then flees with his faithful servant Cacambo. Later we are reintroduced to the Baron who although having been run through with a sword has yet again been resurrected. This is just one example of how the characters in “Candide” are unaffected by consequences, no matter how severe they may seem to be at the time. Voltaire seems to create each character to embody a specific unrelenting reality of life. The Baron in the example I provided above appears to be the embodiment of snobbery. There is another character Paquette, introduced as a waiting woman, who gives syphilis to Pangloss, and is then thought to be dead after the attack on the castle. We are then reintroduced to her in Venice, where she has traveled to pursue her profession as a prostitute. She is of course cured of the syphilis by this time. Her character is the embodiment of the sin of vice. The entire cast of characters is outfitted in this way so as to depict an evil of the world, which is ever present. In this way Voltaire uses the lack of real consequences for his characters to illustrate his point and present his criticisms in a comedic light. Voltaire uses the façade to enable him to say things, which he otherwise could be punished for saying. Voltaire is not implying that we don’t have to accept responsibility for our actions. He is instead saying that we should be aware of what transpires in the world around us and realize that if no one acts to effect change then the status quo will remain. We must each do our part to bring consequences to all rather than allow evil to flourish in our midst. Alternately, Descartes presents us with a direct effect view of consequences. He
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Midterm Essays - Midterm Essays 7 The characters in Candide seem to be impervious to consequences resulting from their actions Each and every

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