An Essay on Man vs. Candide

795 Words Nov 10th, 2013 4 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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