Liebnitzian Philosophy and Candide Essays

851 Words Jan 18th, 2002 4 Pages
"Everything happens for the best, in this the best of all possible worlds." This is a statement that can be found many times within Voltaire's Candide. Voltaire rejected Lebitizian Optimism, using Candide as a means for satirizing what was wrong with the world, and showing that, in reality, this is not the best of all possible worlds. The philosophy of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, which Voltaire called "optimism," is one of the main themes of Candide. The two main points of Leibnizian philosophy are that God is beneficent, and that in creating the world, He created the best possible one. Leibniz did not argue that the world was perfect or that evil was non-existent, but thanks to God's goodness and His constant concern with his creation, …show more content…
Voltaire frequently exaggerates his point on optimism; there is nobody in reality who is positive about everything all the time, especially after so many horrible experiences. One could say that Pangloss is irrational and idiotic, and Voltaire tries to depict how inexplicable his beliefs are which do not measure up to reality. Another example of how Voltaire ridicules Pangloss' optimistic philosophy is the mention of the Lisbon earthquake and fire. Even though the disastrous earthquake took over 30,000 lives, Pangloss still upheld his philosophical optimism by stating, "For all that is for the best...It is impossible that things should not be other than they are; for everything is right. (26)" The disaster in Lisbon affected Voltaire's life so much that he wrote the Poem on the Lisbon Disaster, but Pangloss' philosophy said that the Lisbon earthquake was necessary in the course of nature, and there was definitely a rationale for the situation. A contrast to the views of Pangloss is the character Martin. Martin, a pessimist, is a friend and advisor to Candide whom he meets on his journey. Martin continuously tries to prove to Candide that there is little virtue, morality, and happiness in the world. When a cheerful couple is seen walking and singing, Candide Martin, "At least you must admit that these people are happy (67)." Martin answers Candide's comment with the reply, "I wager they are not (67)." Martin

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