World History 2- Period 2
I. Voltaire. Candide. New York: Bantam Books, 1959. Candide by Voltaire is a very educational and informative piece. It was chosen to be read so the students could gain a better understanding of some of the written pieces in the Enlightenment. Voltaire also makes many references as to what life was like in the 18th century. Voltaire not only describes the scenery but he gives a description of almost every type of person. Whether it is lower class, working class, middle class or upper class, there was a character that the readers see and get a feel of what life was like for them. This book also demonstrates many philosophical ideas and…show more content… Candide really teaches us of the class system and structure and we can apply this to our understanding of the 18th century.
II. Author’s Purpose
There are many things that inspired Voltaire to write Candide. The most notably known are the Seven Years’ War, the 1755 Libson earthquake, and the publication of Leibniz’s “Manadology”. The earthquake had a large effect on theories and optimism of Voltaire’s age.1 Candide greatly revolves around optimism and these events and theories developed from other philosophes of the Enlightenment. Voltaire was hoping to inform and entertain readers simultaneously. Voltaire uses the idea of optimism and resurrection in a kind of hilarious way that makes it seem impossible. He is informing readers that people shouldn’t believe in this silly things but he is also doing it in a way that will entertain them. Voltaire also uses the idea of impossibility to draw readers in and it has a greater effect on the message he is trying to get across. Candide was intended for a critique to most philosophers of the Enlightenment so the original audience was other philosophes. But Candide has become so popular in that it is now intended for young adults/adults because it not only teaches but it does it in an entertaining way. Voltaire portrays many meaningful messages throughout the book. He mainly tires to exemplify these characteristics: the folly of optimism, the corrupting