A Freudian Analysis of Voltaire's Candide Essay

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A Freudian Analysis of Voltaire's Candide

In Civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud refers to the important role that love plays in the world of Man. Love certainly plays an important role in Voltaire's Candide; throughout Candide's journeys, a constant factor is his love for Lady Cunegonde and his desire to be with her.

Freud writes "the way of life which makes love the centre of everything [...] comes naturally to all of us," (Freud, p. 29). Candide's love for Cunegonde is the driving force of his life from the moment they are parted at the beginning of the novel until they are bonded in marriage at the end. Throughout his experiences, Candide continues to think about Cunegonde. Even after narrowly surviving
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50). Candide's love for Cunegonde was clearly not accepted by her family. When Candide expresses his desire to marry Cunegonde to her brother, the Baron strikes him across the face for suggesting "such a hot-headed notion," (Voltaire, p. 67). To the Baron it is completely absurd that Candide, who is of lower birth, should think of marrying his sister, "who has seventy-two quarterings in her coat of arms," (Voltaire, p. 67).

Candide promptly kills the Baron for disapproving of his love for the man's sister. Candide's reactions are hasty, but they are made by a man in love; indeed, his only explanation for his two earlier killings was simply "a jealous man in love doesn't know what he is doing," (Voltaire, pp. 45-46). Throughout history battles have been started by the impulsive actions of a jealous lover. Kingdoms have risen and fallen for love's desires. Like Candide, a man in love is often blinded to his actions until after the deed.

When Candide is sure that he is going to meet death at the hands of the Oreillons, his first thought is of having lost Cunegonde. "I must say it is very cruel to have lost Lady Cunegonde and to be skewered by the Oreillons," (Voltaire, p. 71). Here is a man who is about to lose his life, and he feels that the loss of his loved one is equal to the loss he is about to suffer. "At the height of being in love the boundary
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