The Naive Protagonists of Candide and Forrest Gump Essay example

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The Naive Protagonists of Candide and Forrest Gump

Society can be, and is, corrupt in many different ways. Within our lives we are subject, but not limited to, corruptions within religion, corruptions of morals, and corruption within the government. Voltaire, the author of Candide, and Robert Zemeckis, the director of "Forrest Gump", both use grotesquely naïve protagonists to illustrate their view of the world in which they live. Nevertheless, Candide and Forrest, surrounded by a corrupt society, and bombarded by various character defining events, are able to come to a higher understanding as to their philosophy of life.

Candide, by Voltaire, is a story about an optimistic young man who encounters various
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He becomes an All-American, is present during the integration of his college, and is sent to Vietnam after being drafted into the army. Later, Forrest receives the Medal of Honor, is present during the anti-war movement, plays a crucial role in Watergate, and finally becomes a multi-million dollar business tycoon. Through all of this, Forrest holds one thing true in his mind: Jenny. Jenny is his first and only love. Next to his mother, she's the most important thing in his life, and the only thing he really wants. Yet, despite constant disappointments concerning Jenny, Forrest maintains his sweet-tempered, innocently naïve philosophy of life.

Voltaire and Zemeckis share a similar view concerning the corruptions within a society. While making a point that though corruption is evident, and life can be very uncertain, it's entirely up to the individual as to the outcome of his or her future.

Throughout their lives, Candide and Forrest experience just about everything that is humanly possible to endure. In the end, they both make the choice to wind up essentially where they began; content and fulfilled.

In Candide, Voltaire uses general criticisms paired with specific examples to illustrate his idea concerning the contemporary corruption of the time. It is a "grinning critique of the 18th century's excesses and cruelties" (Kanfer 1). With Candide,

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