Candide Study Guide

a story that uses laughter and abusive language in an attempt to cure and punish wrong-doing, if it does not achieve it is content with making jokes at foolishness and to expose evil

lack of good sense

an evil practice, moral failing, wicked conduct


Target of Satire
can be anything, usually a specific person, low, or government

Static Character
a character that does not experience changes during the story

Dynamic Character
a character that experiences changes throughout the story

“Age of reason” emphasized reason and individuality

Cultivate our Garden
1) we must grow and strengthen our garden of life
2) we need to work hard to make our life the best

Voltaire’s attitude toward Religion
central target of Voltaire’s mockery, religion is corrupt

Voltaire’s attitude toward humanity
part of the natural continuum with animals, believed that if humans replace their superstition with knowledge the world would be better

Voltaire’s attitude toward philosophy
its not good to explain deaths

Voltaire’s attitude toward philosophical optimism
whole point of Candide, every time something bad would happen, a good would be made out of it

Lisbon earthquake
it proved Voltaire thinking, examined problem of evil, Gods relationship was not for worlds best

How is it didactic
it is didactic because many philosophies are brought ot the table to freak the readers

Optimism in Candide
everything is made to serve an end, cause and effect will justify every instance of evil in terms of the eventual

Free will in Candide
key destination between man/animals, men determine their own fate, cultivate our garden

Evil in Candide
phenomenon of evil can be rationalistic, evil isnt necessary

Pity in Candide
we cant have excuses of pity

Pleasure vs. Criticism
only possible pleasure comes from criticizing things, intended to bring the spectator pleasure

Purpose of Satire
1) make people laugh and then make them think
2) Funny but maybe we shouldn’t be laughing
3) To force change for the better

“best of all possible worlds” there cant be an effect without cause

Cynical Scholar, pessimist, cant see the world as it is

very practical, opposes pangloss and martin

Old Women
extremely wise from long difficult experiences in life

Philosophical Optimism
We live in the best possible world, God created a physical universe that applies the laws of physics, everything that takes place occurs for good

Self Satisfaction

protective of God or of nature as a spiritual power

favored old ideas, truth is universal, classical past

favored change, believed ides of truth and continue to evolve, looked to change societies thinking on woman, individualism, ancients weren’t perfect.

vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil

Problem of evil
it is the argument that an all-powerful, all knowing, and all good God would not allow any evil

belief in the existence of a supreme being, God has created the world, but in apart from it

Argument from design
Gods existence is demonstrable from the evidence of design in the universe

a novel of formation, education through experience, main character grows from childhood to maturity and to eventually embrace or reject his cultures beliefs

a novel of education and training, the education is formal or informal

intended to instruct, inclined to moralize, morally instructive

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