The True Meaning Behind Candide Essay

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The True Meaning Behind Candide Candide is a literary work by Francois-Marie Arout, more commonly known by his penname, Voltaire. Candide, otherwise titled Optimism, is the tale of a young German lad named Candide and the adventures that he undergoes. While the plot of the novel is interesting, the book is considered a classic because of the not-so-subtle humorous ridiculing of everything that Voltaire wished to mock. Voltaire ridicules the church, the state, and everything in between through the use of allegory. Voltaire used certain literary techniques and language, such as humor, in order to effusively express his contempt of what was happening in his world. Voltaire uses humor from the beginning of the novel, and doesn’t stop until the end. At the start of the novel, he uses names such as “Thunder-Ten-Tronckh” (Voltaire 1) in order to ridicule the guttural way that the German language sounds. This is evident again when Candide asks about a Mr. Vanderdendur, which can be seen as a play on names with a Germanic origin. The name is also supposed to suggest a certain VanDuren, who has gotten into an argument with Voltaire in real life (Voltaire 40). By using such a ridiculous sounding name, Voltaire is able to mock the names of his adversaries as well…show more content…
The optimism that he had held onto through the death of loved ones and ghastly war sites was given up because of the way that the government and the church were acting at the present time. This was a bold statement that Voltaire had been making, and statements such as this were the reasons why Voltaire kept getting exiled from countries. Candide then describes optimism as “a mania for saying things are well when on is in hell” (Voltaire 40). This shows how Candide realized his previous obsession with optimism was a lie and that it had been a mania to even think

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