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All Is Not For The Best Essay

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"All is Not for the Best" 10-K Candide Voltaire's Candide is

the story of an innocent man's experiences in a mad and evil

world, his struggle to survive in that world, and his need to

ultimately come to terms with it. All people experience the

turmoil of life and must overcome obstacles, both natural

and man-made, in order to eventually achieve happiness. In

life, "man must find a medium between what Martin (scholar

and companion to Candide) calls the "convulsions of

anxiety" and the "lethargy of boredom"" (Richter 137). After

a long and difficult struggle in which Candide is forced to

overcome misfortune to find happiness, he concludes that all

is not well (as he has previously been
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Even though the

world is filled with disaster, Candide has an optimistic

attitude that he adopted from Dr. Pangloss' teachings. In

spite of his many trials, Candide believes that all is well and

everything is for the best. Only once, in frustration, does he

admit that he sometimes feels that optimism is "the mania of

maintaining that all is well when we are miserable" (Voltaire

41). Candide's enthusiastic view of life is contrasted with,

and challenged by the suffering which he endures throughout

the book. Voltaire wrote this book in a mocking and satirical

manner in order to express his opinion that passive optimism

is foolish (Richter 134). Candide eventually learns how to

achieve happiness in the face of misadventure. He learns that

in order to attain a state of contentment, one must be part of

society where there is collective effort and work. Labor,

Candide learns, eliminates the three curses of mankind:

want, boredom, and vice. In order to create such a society,

man must do the following: love his fellow man, be just, be

vigilant, know how to make the best of a bad situation and

keep from theorizing. Martin expresses this last requirement

for such a society succinctly when he says, "Let's work

without speculating; it's the only way of rendering life

bearable" (Voltaire 77). One of the last people that Candide

meets in his travels is an old, poor Turkish farmer who

teaches Candide a lesson which allows him to come to
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