A Comparison of a Hobbsian World and the World of Candide

2234 WordsJun 15, 20189 Pages
The Disparity between a Hobbsian World and the World of Candide In an anarchistic Hobbsian world, man leads a purely selfish existence, perpetually waging war against his fellow men. In this world Nature subsists as a playing field for evolution: only the strong and cunning survives, and even survival results in life that is "nasty, brutish, and short" (Hobbes). However, with restraints (that is, government), a Hobbsian world can blossom into society. According to Hobbes, those who wish to subside from natural anarchy must implicitly surrender some personal freedom in exchange for societal order. Hobbes' philosophies influenced many of his contemporaries and subsequent…show more content…
Actually, there are only two settings in all of Candide where adversity is somewhat alleviated. These settings are Eldorado and the garden, and they both present critiques and corroborations of Hobbsian philosophy. When Candide and Cacambo first reach Eldorado, they are overwhelmed by the Eldoradian's independence from material greed. Candide observes a group of children playing ninepins with gold nuggets and then leaving behind the gold when they are finished. Candide takes this gold and attempts to use it to pay for a meal, only to become laughed at by an innkeeper, who pronounces: "Gentlemen, it is obvious that you are strangers here, and we are not used to foreigners. So please excuse our laughter at your offering to pay us with stones off the road. I dare say you haven't any of our money, but you don't need any to dine here. All ins run for the convenience of tradespeople are paid for by the Government. You have fared badly here because this is a poor village, but everywhere else you will be received as you deserve to be" (77). Candide considers the innkeeper's words and remarks rhetorically: "What country can this be?...everything is so different from what we are used to. It is probably the country where all goes well" (77). Eldoradian society partially confirms Candide's response. There are no jails in Eldorado, no hunger or

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