Popes Essay On Man And Voltaires Candide Characters

An Essay on Man vs. Candide

795 WordsNov 10th, 20134 Pages

An Essay on Man vs. Candide During the period of Enlightenment, many philosophers began a new way of thinking. For philosopher Alexander Pope in An Essay on Man, Pope believed that, “Whatever is, is right” (L. 294), in that God is in control and every human being is a part of a greater design of God. Voltaire later challenged that belief in Candide with the idea that God does not produce order, but instead, we must produce it ourselves and use reason to give our lives meaning. Pope’s position is more optimistic, while Voltaire’s position takes on a pessimistic view in that it does not allow for the belief in some sort of higher purpose. Drawing from personal experience, Pope’s belief that we perceive troubles as troubles only because…show more content…

413). With that notion, Voltaire is right because there is nothing in this world that is perfect or even close to perfect, but it is the best possible world we have. Voltaire acknowledges that the world we live in includes both good and bad and joy and suffering. I can see the accuracy in Voltaire’s theory where man does have the power to make his own decisions in life, but at the same time I feel that our decisions go into a pre-developed plan. I have left several hard decisions that I’ve had to make, decide themselves. Even though I left it up in the air, I eventually partially made a decision, but I also had the help of a greater force. We might all have several paths laid out for us in the beginning, and depending on a few drastic choices that we make will determine which of those few paths we end up going down. Voltaire creates the opportunity that man can make his own difference in the world and be happy by giving man control over his life and not resting it all on God. Voltaire’s Candide and Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man both make foundational points. Pope’s essay is more optimistic while Voltaire’s is more pessimistic. The flaw in Pope’s essay is that Pope is too

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Essay on Candide

658 Words3 Pages


     Throughout Candide the author, Voltaire, demonstrates the character’s experiences in a cruel world and his fight to gain happiness. In the beginning Candide expects to achieve happiness without working for his goal and only taking the easy way out of all situations. However, by the end of the book the character realized that to achieve happiness a lot of work, compromises, and sacrifices are necessary.

     Candide is a person of privilege who began life in the Castle of Westphalia. While a part of the castle-life, Candide was taught by Dr. Pangloss. Pangloss is a philosopher who teaches there is a cause for all things and that everything is all for the good,…show more content…

When he does meet Cunegonde life does not become any easier or richer. At this reunion, Candide does begin to take his life’s matters into his own hands. His first attempt at this accomplishment is shown when he kills Cunegonde’s rapists. Though life does not become any easier, at this point Candide begins to grow from a naïve young person into a grown realist. Cunegonde suddenly leaves Candide for a wealthy man. The man’s wealth, however, proves not to bring happiness to either Cunegonde or Candide.

     Candide realizes he must take responsibility for his life. He must accept situations and try to change obstacles that may be hindrances. Candide learns that labor will eliminate the three curses of mankind: want, boredom, and vice. Candide realizes he must build his own life, however simple it may be. When meeting a man that is happy with a simple garden to tend and a family to love, Candide realizes life does not have to be full of wealth in order to be happy. He realizes that everything in life is not evil, especially when a person strives to make changes and not simply accept what comes their way. A reader of Candide should realize how accepting a situation and not trying to charge or overcome its obstacles is only harmful. If a person does not attempt to change a bad situation, then that person should be complain about the outcome. A person should take responsibility and

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