Candide bets his companion Martin that giving the miserable twosome money will

Candide bets his companion martin that giving the

This preview shows page 3 - 5 out of 6 pages.

companion Martin, that giving the miserable twosome money will make them happy and Martin disagrees saying that “it’s quite possible the money [Candide has] given them willmake them even more miserable” (62). Martin ends up being correct, for when Candide meets up with Paquette and Brother Giroflée again they are indeed even more distraught than they originally were. Martin also points out that “[Candide has] spewed out million of dollars…and [he] is no happier than Brother Giroflée and Paquette” (62). In Candide money brings temporary happiness, but ultimately distress.InCandidenobility, who have both wealth and great power, tend to end up in ruinor in great stress and sadness. The entire family of the Baron ends up away from their beloved castle: some end up slaves, some end up mistresses to important men or end up prostitutes, and all of them end up miserable. Candide dines with six kings who have - 3 -
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been through imprisonment, loss of power, and loss of wealth. The old woman, who claims to have been the most beautiful and one of the most wealthy people in the world ends up hideous and servant to Cunégonde whose old castle she claims could not have even “served as [a] stable” to her own old grand castle. There is also Count Pococurante whose immense wealth causes him to find nothing enchanting and be tortured by boredom. “Optimisme” is given as another title to Candide, and while the book explores other theories it focuses primarily on and most obviously on optimism. Candide believes that he is living in the best world, that the world is the best it can be because God created it, and people are inherently good. Besides Leibniz, Rousseau was another Enlightenmentthinker who also believed in this world view. Voltaire disagrees with them, and makes it painstakingly clear in the novel. Believing in “optimism” causes Candide an enormous amount of stress as he travels and sees that his philosophy is not entirely valid. Leibniz’s and Pangloss’s theory of optimism is thrown on its head without mercy as the story moves through thefts, rapes, beatings, lechery, brutal killings, cheating, great misfortune, and horror all while very little seems to be happening to remedy it. After great despair, once something positive, even if it is unrelated to the original problem, Candide and Pangloss decide if not for all they have suffered, they could not have reached their new point. But as the book progresses, this kind of thinking becomes more and more ridiculous as they continue to be swindled, beaten, and put under great suffering, all while still holding fast to the belief that they live in the “best of all possible worlds” (13).
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