`` Candide `` : Innocence And Experience

857 WordsMar 9, 20164 Pages
In the Neo-classical novel Candide by Voltaire the theme of innocence and experience is prevalent through the protagonist, Candide, especially through his journey of finding the prescription of how to live a useful life in the face of harsh reality. In William Blake’s collection of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience the two characters, tyger and lamb, show how we lose our innocence to gain experience. Although the innocence and experience are paradoxical terms, we can solve the paradox by analyzing these two works. First in the novel Candide the neoclassical age defined innocence as ignorance and experience as knowledge. Meaning that when you are born you are a blank slate (innocent) but life will write on you (experience). If we examine the etymology of the character’s name “Candide” we learn that his name came from the Latin word “Canidum” meaning “white, pure, and honest” which implies innocence. From the beginning of Candide, we see how naïve and innocent the character is .He lives in the Barons castle with the nicest things, unaware of the outside world. Most of Candide’s ideas of what the outside world was like was from his mentor, pangloss whose philosophy is the best of all possible worlds. Until he is faced with real world problems such as hunger and human cruelty after he is kicked out of the castle. Candies first example of innocence is when he leaves the Barons Castle “Candide, ejected from the earthly paradise wandered for a long time without
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