Class Notes (811,170)
Canada (494,539)
English (1,397)
ENG150Y1 (97)

ENG150Y1 - Candide - Lecture Notes.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
William Robins

ENG150Y1 – LECTURE NOTES Monday, March 4, 2013 Voltarie’s Candide – Lecture 1 Introduction: - Society is organized as the foundation for individual’s rights - Idea behind this is that society is adhere to serve the needs and aspirations of individuals - Rights guarantee that the individual’s needs are respected - This is contemporary ideology - This differs from the societies of the medieval world, the ancient world, and the like - Before, it was a holistic ideology where the needs of the community were prioritized - Shift is found in this novel too, during the Enlightenment Period - Notions of values, rights and needs are worth fighting for - Voltaire pushed for tolerance and freedom of speech, responsible for promoting justice - Voltaire wrote in many genres What Voltaire does in literature, in terms of structure and what not: - Romance is a narrative mode, a basic mode of representation - The beginning of these types of novels starts with a situation of stability - Something goes wrong and this leads to a form of loss or separation - A series of trials need to be done - And then there is a reunion of those who were separated and the recovery of the stable situation - What drives the action throughout these romances are external forces (fortune); it is beyond their control - Series of trials are meant as reversals (peripeteia) o Characters are stripped of their identity, reduced to their bare core of themselves o Values that are left are trust, fidelity, patience, hope, etc… - The reunion is caused by providential forces o Established as poetic justice o Some force of destiny is involved o Wandering is given a purpose - Candide takes this model of romance - It adopts this mode, but challenges it, suggesting that there is a providential force for this type of narrative itself - In the novel, the lovers are no longer beautiful; the events take their toll on the lovers - Diverges away from the obsession of beauty - It is a parody and traversing the logic of romances - Idea of marriage is thwarted because of Cunegonde’s brother sense of power, prestige and nobility; refuses to allow his sister to marry a commoner - The ideas that underpin romance are listed (ex: the philosophical idea that all men are equal) o This is a travesty, emptying the content of romance and giving it new content o Providential underpinnings are questioned by having the characters go through so much o Blends comedy and tragedy in a disturbing way - Candide’s travels is very much important - There are many geographical realms - It doesn’t end where it begins, but in a foreign place (Constanople) - Voltaire pokes fun at pretentions of society and the genres - Characters in other pieces we’ve read are almost killed, but voltaire’s characters undergo a lot Core values: - Values undergo pressure - When they arrive in brazil, the local lord casts his eyes on cunegonde - The lord makes a proposal - Cunegonde asks the old woman for advice - The old woman talks about fidelity o She suggests that it’s a choice o Misfortunes don’t make you be fidel or not - When candide is told that cunegonde has become ugly, he says that it is his duty to love her always o Fidelity is replaced by duty - Naïve hopes in his dealings with other people Candide vs. Don Quixote: - Candide alludes to cervantes’ novels - First clue comes when candide is reunited with his lover and they embark to cadiz, they pass through sierra morina which is wear DQ decides to be crazy and they stay at an inn - All of the incest stories reveal the human condition when it is exposed to danger - At the end of candide, he comes by slaves and encounters cunegonde’s brother again and candide rescues the slaves, alludes to DQ’s saving of the slaves as well - Scene of library books also emulates DQ - Voltaire sets the pattern of romance against reality - Instead of the madness, we get the naivety of candide What makes the novel interesting: - Voltaire has diagnosed a philosophical core called optimism - Optimism was an articulate philosophical version of providence - If god is good and powerful, all the bad things that happen will add up to something fortunate - Explains why bad things happen to good people - Leibniz developed the term “theodicy” and the goodness of god - The reason why this novel starts at Germany is so Voltaire can poke fun at german philosophy such as criticizing Leibniz o Example on page 90 o Leibniz cannot be wrong - Pangloss is introduced as the teacher - God chose to make his world the way it is - The world we live in, is the best world of all of possibilities - This is the basic idea behind optimism that Voltaire suggests is analo
More Less

Related notes for ENG150Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.