Candide or Optimism: A Novel Criticizing Numerous IdeologiesWho is the savant Voltaire and what philosophies did he criticize in his novel Candide or Optimism? François-Marie Arouet otherwise called Voltaire is a French philosopher who composed many articles, books and ballads amid the enlightenment period. A lot of his works were censored by the French because of the way that he besmirched everything and anything that had to do with religious corruption and the justice system.To battle the restrictions placed on him at the time, Voltaire had quite a bit of his works printed abroad, and he distributed them under a shroud of accepted names and nom de plumes. His acclaimed novella “Candide” was initially credited to a “Dr. Ralph,” and he effectively succeeded  to disassociate himself from the novel for quite a long time. In my exposition i will thoroughly examine Voltaire’s criticism regarding religion, the ideology pertaining to optimism, and how women are depicted in his novel “Candide”.      In his novel Candide, Voltaire regularly condemned religious convictions of his era. His feedback on religion surfaces all throughout the whole story. The benevolence of the Anabaptist that Candide met demonstrated the non sensibleness of religious biases. In the old lady’s account of her dad, Pope Urban X and the life of riches she abided as a tyke, demonstrates the debasement of the Catholic clergy. Voltaire likewise assaulted the customary religion of the day by demonstrating the advantages of a superior religion. He utilized a discussion between an old man and Candide in El Dorado to show this perfect religion. Subsequent to scrutinizing the man about regardless of whether his kin had a religion and what God it was that they adored, Candide solicited to see someone from their clerics. The old man’s reaction was that they were all ministers, they required no uncommon individuals to meddle in their love with God. To this, Candide shouted, “What! You have no monks instructing and disputing, and governing and intriguing, and having everyone burned alive who is not of their opinion?” (Voltaire 47). The old man answered that they would be frantic on the off chance that they did. The religion that the general population of El Dorado had was much less difficult than any of the European religions. Voltaire talked about this religion to show how the pastorate were superfluous, and here and there even hurtful, and how a straightforward religion may benefit Europeans better. Voltaire does not go against the Church because he was nefarious and wanted to indulge in sin, but because he felt that without undermining the power of the Church he would have gotten nowhere. we should also take into account the significance that the Church had on the people during this time period. Since the book’s publication there has been an ongoing argument according to Carolyn Korsmeyer ” Defenders of Leibniz generally assert that the story is an oversimplified polemic which wholly overlooks that philosopher’s powerful arguments. Apologists for Voltaire by and large reply that arguments are not at issue, for a novel should not be judged by philosophical standards since its effect is artistic rather than logical”(Korsmeyer 201-208). The motivation behind why Voltaire parodies optimism all throughout his novel is because of his own misfortunes which lead him to dismiss the notion of that which we live in the “best of all possible worlds” which is a allusion taken from the philosopher Leibnitz. Pangloss is implied not to assault Leibnitz, but instead positive thinking as a theory. According to .In this manner the peruser can’t overlook that the greater part of Pangloss’s ramblings somehow speak to a frequently comical portrayal of the “normal” self assured person, or Leibnitz supporter.  He makes Pangloss the ultimate champion of optimism when he says “that there can not possibly be an effect without a cause, and that in this best of all possible worlds the Baron’s castle was the most beautiful of all castles and his wife the best of all possible baronesses”(Voltaire 4). Yet at the same time Voltaire calls attention to the ludicrousness of this idea. “observe,” says Pangloss, trying to exhibit that everything has a circumstances and end results, “noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles. Legs, as anyone can plainly see, were made to be breached, and so we have breeches”(Voltaire 4). The sheer idiocy of these irrational determinations will probably put a grin on the reader’s face, and calls attention to Voltaire’s issue with most Optimists and the unreasonable degree to which they would convey their conventions. As the story progresses Candide begins to realize that what is beloved philosopher Pangloss has  so passionately believed in might be fruitless after all. Even at the end of the novel Pangloss still holds on to the belief of optimism, telling the group that their calamity was necessary in reaching their happiness in the end. Which Candide reponds to saying “that is well said but we must cultivate our garden”(Voltaire 94).  Voltaire truly paints Pangloss as some who could not see the fault of his own logic.      In his novel, Voltaire examines the abuse of women during  the eighteenth century through the female characters in the novel. Cunegonde, Paquette, and the Old Woman endure sexual abuse and assault  paying little mind to riches or political associations. These characters have almost no unpredictability or significance in Candide. With his portrayal of Cunegonde, Paquette, and the Old Woman, Voltaire  satirizes the role of women and highlights the ineptitude of women during  the eighteenth century. Cunegonde is the young daughter of a well off German lord. She is depicted as “extremely beautiful”(Voltaire 4) and is frequently referred to as “the beautiful Cunegonde”(Voltaire 39). She is the epitome of a damsel-in-distress meaning that she is completely dependent of the insurance of men, also she is weak hearted fainting at anything that may cause her distress. Be that as it may Voltaire does not fault Cunegonde on her candor of her  femininity. Cunegonde could be considered admirable due to the fact that she’s doing what needs to be done in order to survive like any other women would have done during that time, even though she is consistently being raped. Voltaire makes what is considered heinous and monstrous in to something that could be seen as a completely normal occurrence. What I find funny is that Voltaire was an activist for the rights of  women yet he portrayed the female characters as being once beautiful and wealthy i.e the old women being the daughter of Urban Pope X and Cunegonde daughter of a German Baron or being a tramp in the case of Paquette which proves how well Voltaire utilizes satire.              In conclusion Voltaire brings awareness to the issues of being over optimistic, the corruption of the Catholic Church and how women had no voices and had to only comply to what the men in their lives had to say. He uses satire and allusion to get his point across which is why he is praised for his works. In my opinion the idea of the “best of all possible worlds” could be applied more to the modern world than that of Leibniz and Voltaire. we have come so far as a race when it comes to women rights and the right of freedom of speech. We also do not have a specific religion backing up a political party like the Catholic Church during the eighteenth century.                                                                                                   Work Cited Voltaire. Candide, Or, Optimism. London: Penguin, 2006. Print. Korsmeyer, Carolyn. “Project MUSE – Is Pangloss Leibniz?” Project MUSE – Is Pangloss Leibniz? N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.

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