Voltaire 's Candide : The Folly Of Human Suffering

1438 Words Nov 16th, 2015 6 Pages
There are two sides to every story. Indeed, while optimism may be initially perceived as a practical philosophy, Voltaire’s Candide proves this to be false. Originally published in 1759, Candide was written by François-Marie Arouet (otherwise known by his pen name Voltaire) and employs satire in order to show the folly in Gottfried Leibniz’s prominent philosophy, Optimism. This philosophy reasons that, because god created everything and is perfect, than it follows that anything that may take place on earth (be it natural disasters or other forms of human suffering) is perfect as well. Many of the characters in Candide are representative of certain philosophical values, and Voltaire uses these characters in order to prove his own opinions to the reader. While many people may simply view Martin as a more practical foil to Pangloss, further examination of the text could contradict this. Through Martin’s advice and actions to Candide and others in comparison to those of Pangloss, Voltaire shows their philosophies to be ineffective for its indifference to human suffering. Furthermore, through this Voltaire also illustrates that looking at all aspects of a situation, and not just those that support one’s own opinion, allows for one’s ability to accurately perceive the world. While Pangloss serves to represent the philosophy of optimism, Martin’s character serves as a foil to his character in order to represent how these ideas are applied to pessimism. Furthermore, his…
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