Voltaire Candide Essay, Research Paper
Voltaire was born in Paris in 1694. He had a very troubled childhood, but he managed to attend the Jesuit college of Louis le Grand in Paris where he studied literature and theater. He spent several years as a member of the royal court of Louis XV at Versailles, and was appointed as court biographer. Voltaire?s fame was, and still is worldwide. He spent the last 20 years of his life in Geneva, but he died in Paris in 1778. His most famous work, Candide is considered a masterpiece by most scholars today.
Candide was a pure, na?ve man who lived in a perfect world, in the best house, with the best people, and the prettiest woman in the world. At list, that was what he thought. Then trouble begun, he tried to kiss the Lady of the house Cunegonde, and for that he was forced to leave the house, which he did and he joined the Bulgar Army. After many unfortunate situations, he went to Holland where he became friends with a merchant, and he also found his old teacher there. After some months, the three of them left and went to Lisbon where an enormous earthquake took place shortly after they arrived. Even though they lived through the earthquake, they got arrested due to their beliefs, and Candide?s teacher was hanged. Candide was severely beaten, but an old woman treated him in her house in the woods. There he met again with Cunegonde, and after he killed her two masters, Candide took her and went to Propontis. There he asked the permission of Cunegonde?s brother to marry her, and despite the brother?s objections Candide married her anyway and he spent the rest of his life in a farm that he bought.
Voltaire story contained many exaggerations and irony, which made it kind of funny, but a serious meaning was behind everything. Although many bad things happened to Candide he continued to believe that they happened for a good reason, and that bad things happened to good people.
We can also see many historical events of the time in Candide, like the Seven Years? War, and the war between England and France. Also Voltaire attacked the nobility, which he portrayed as oppressive to the lower class people, arrogant, and foolish. Voltaire also made fun of religion, which was considered a very big thing at the time because if the Church was offended, there could have been very serious consequences for Voltaire. Religion was portrayed as corrupt, oppressing, and in most situations not even needed. Voltaire was not criticizing the Christian beliefs but the whole institution of the Church, because it forced religion on to the people.
Voltaire?s Candide is basically a book full of criticism on other people?s beliefs on philosophy, religion, and many other problems that his society at the time faced. In the end of the book Voltaire gave us some alternatives in these issues through the actions of his characters. The major one was that to be content is to be happy, and to achieve this they had to remove the corruption that ruled their lives.