Fatalistic And Optomistic Notions As Seen In

Volta Essay, Research Paper

Ali Chaudhry December 26 Candide “On her way home she met Canidide, and blushed. Candide blushed too. Her voice was choked with emotion as she greeted him, and candide spoke to her without knowing what he said. The following day, as they were leaving the dinner table, Cunegonde and Candide happened to meet behind a screen. Cunegonde dropped her handkercheif, and Candide picked it up. She quite innocently took his hand, he as innocently kissed hers with singular grace and ardour. Their lips met, their eyed flashed, their knees trembled, and their hands would not keep still. Baron Thunder-ten-trockh, happening to pass the screen at that moment, noticed both cause and effect, and drove Candide from the house with powerful kicks to the backside. Cunegonde fainted, and on recovering her senses was boxed on the ears by the Baroness. Thus consternation reigned in the most beautiful and delightful of all possible mansions.” (p 21) This excerpt is one of the first of many in the novel which portrays that things occur by chance. The fact that the Baron was just “happening to pass the screen at that moment” reaffirms the idea of fate, that things happen and can’t be controlled. However on of the themes in the novel is that things happen for the best and the two ideas, fate and things happening for the best are evident throughout the novel. This also explains why Candide was thrown out of the mansion and why he searches all around the world for Cunegonde. “‘My tutor, Pangloss, was quite right,’ he exclaimed, ‘when he told me that all is for the best in this world of ours, for your generosity moves me much more than the harshness of that gentleman in the black gown and his wife.’” (p27) Candide has just been refused food and help from a minister because he could not answer wheather or not the Pepe is Antichrist. Candide said he does not know such a man and can therefor not answer, resulting in the minister to refuse any help Candide asked for. However a worthy Anabaptist called James brought Candide to his home and gave him plenty of food. Candide is astonished and tells the Anabaptist why he believes all is for the best. “‘I most humbly beg your Exellency’s pardon,’ replied Pangloss, still more politely, ‘but I must point out that the fall of Man and the eternal punishment enter, of Necessity, into the scheme of the best of all possible worlds.’” (p35) Pangloss, Candide’s tutor, reaffirms his beleif, which is consequently Candide’s belief as well, that all is for the best in this world. The fall fits into the big picture of what is best for man. “‘I freed myself with considerable trouble from the pile of bleeding corpses, and managed to crawl to the shade of a large orange tree on the banks of a stream nearby. There I collapsed, exhausted and famished, overcome by fear, horror and despair; and soon after I fell asleep, if I may so describe what was more like a trance than slumber. I was in this state of weakness and insensibility, hovering between life and death, when I felt myself pressed by something stirring on my body. I opened my eyes and behold a goodlooking man of fair complexion who sighed as he muttered: “O che sciagura d’ essere senze coglioni!’” (p53)

Candide has met an old woman on his journey to reunite with Cunegonde. The woman tells Candide her story and questions wheather everything is for the best. This is a point in the novel because the opposite point of view is being brought up. Candide begins to question it as well but is still firm that all is for the best as his teacher has taught him. “It was not easy to get to Cayenne. They had a rough idea which direction to take, but they found formiddable obstacles everywhere in the shape of mountains, rivers, precipices, brigands, and savages. Their horsed died from fatigue, and their provisions were exhausted. For an entire month they existed on wild fruits; but at last they reached a stream whose banks were lined with coco-nut trees, which helped to support life and keep their spirits up.” (p73) This excerpt shows the rough journey ahead of Candide. He had immense obstacles ahead of him in order for him to reach his goal. However difficult this journey appears, they have reached coco-nut trees which shall aid them along the way. This again shows that things happen for the best. Candide has seen many things he would not have had he not been kicked out of the mansion. “The French captain soon discovered that the captain of the victorious ship was a Spaniard, and that the defeated captain was a Dutch pirate; it was the same man, in fact, that had robbed Candide. The immense riches which this villain had stolen were swallowed up with him in the sea, and there was only on sheep saved. ‘You observe,’ said Candide to Martin, ‘that crime is sometimes punished. That roque of a Dutch captain has had the fate he deserved.” (p 93) Candide explains to his companion, Martin, that fate works out. People get what they deserve and in that sense all is for the best. The captain who had taken advantage of Candide and overcharged the two for the ship ride now paid the price with his life. The sheep, which Candide had obtained from a strange town, were fiiled with gold and diamonds. The captain had stolen them from Candide but in the end one sheep survived and returned to Candide. So Candide further explains that all is for the best. “‘Now, my dear Pangloss,’ said Candide, ‘tell me this. When you had been hanged, dissected, and beaten unmercifully, and while you were rowing at your bench, did yoo still think that everything in this world is for the best?’” (p136) Candide has now been reunited with Pangloss and hears the story of what Pangloss went through since they last met one another, which happened to be at thier execution. Both luckily survived and Pangloss is sitll adamant with his belief that all is for the best. Candide is questioning this idea but Pangloss still explains that all is for the best. Candide goes on to find Cunegonde and they are reunited.


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