Voltaire, Candide(Lecture 1)
Stable Situation Stable Situation
External Forces Loss, Separation Providential
(F Restoration of things lost, Reunion
Series of Trials
This is when the protagonists go through a u shape train of loss and gain. They begin the story then are
torn of everything that they have (Odysseus: losses everything) then they gain everything again
(Odysseus finds home and lives happily)
Candide: This is a romance where the events take their toll.
When Candide is going to save C___ with her brother, the brother moves away from
traditional Romance due to his own self importance
The story is a tragedy: The logic of Romance is emptied by a lot of its content? by having horrible things
happen to the characters. The purpose of the story is to shock and offend.
"Candide, ou l'optimisme"
If all things happen because of certain reasons and causes, if thigns happen because of
Causal change, if God is all powerful (and god lies behind everything) and God is good,
All of his causal changes lead to something that is good.
o god works in mysterious ways
Theodicy: why bad things happen to good people, why God is kind of a dick
o Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Theodicy (1710)
Parody of Leibniz philosophy in the book
o the basic idea behind optimism that Voltaire is also analogies that lies behind in
Romance; that things end providentially
Voltaire, Candide (Lecture 2)
"whatever is, is right" is Voltaire's impression of Alexander Pope, Essay on Man (1733)
Voltaire believes that Pope's view on optimism is not fully reasonable to every day.
Optimism is not consoling or useful in Voltaire's opinion.
"While Candid's own experiences cannot directly refute the proposition that partial ills are necessary
components of a universal good, over time they come to make that explanation sound unfeeling
"Candide is less a formal philosophical refutation of providential reasoning than an insistence of the
moral bankruptcy of a short of Optimism that comforts no one and changes nothing for the
-P. Stewart "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"
The story is formed into several blocks that form Voltaire's satire of optimism
Don Quixote; madness and naive through Chivalric literature. Candide; madness and naive
through philosophy from Pangloss' teachings.
Jove and Pangloss' teachings are similar; they're vague and not actually helpful. That divine
purposes are not immediately accessible and won't make sense but they're present and
you must follow them.