Candide and the search for truth behind Panglosss Philosophy

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Candide and the search for truth behind Pangloss’s Philosophy In the satire, Candide, Voltaire seeks to find the meaning of Gottfried Leibniz’s theory of optimism. Leibniz is a philosopher from Germany in Voltaire’s lifetime. Leibniz is portrayed in the satire by Dr. Pangloss, a philosopher that takes very similar characteristics to Leibniz himself. Leibniz’s philosophy throughout the satire is voiced by Pangloss “This is the best of all possible worlds”. His philosophy can also be described as arguing that whatever happens in the world happens for a positive reason. Leibniz’s philosophy was God centered. There is no possible way that Leibniz’s theory can be applied to Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany and his destruction of six million Jews or the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. Voltaire proves through all the horrible things that happen in the story, such as rape, war, and the massive earthquake of Lisbon, not everything happens for the best. Although it is very optimistic to have the belief of Leibniz, no one can avoid the suffering that certain events bring. Candide keeps returning to Pangloss’s theory and that theory motivates him throughout his journey. Pessimism challenges the thoughts of Pangloss but Candide stays on path towards his beloved. His goal of reaching Cunegonde is what keeps him thinking positively. Ironically, when he reaches his goal, he becomes extremely disappointed and then dismisses Pangloss’s optimism. At first, Candide is a strong believer in Dr. Pangloss’s philosophy that “the best of all possible worlds”. The best of all possible is referring to of all the possible worlds in the galaxy, Earth is the best possible world. Voltaire creates the fictional character Dr. Pangloss to resemble Leibniz. Pangloss states It is demonstrable that all things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all
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