It is of interest to learn that Voltaire did not readily reject the optimistic philosophy. In the first of his philosophical tales, Zadig (1747), he was not without optimism. His hero, like Candide, experienced great difficulties in his travels. He was nearly strangled in Babylon, barely escaped being roasted to death in Barra, was impaled by bonzes in Serendip, and enslaved in Egypt. Understandably, he questioned the theory of providentialism. But he finally was told by an angel that there is no evil in the world from which good does not arise. The Voltaire of Candide, published twelve years later, no longer could accept this point of view. He rejected the views of Leibnitz, Wolff, Bolingbroke, and Pope: there was overwhelming evidence that all was not for the best in this world.
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1001 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.