« Reading the Temperature of Bradbury's _Fahrenheit 451_ | Main | Buzzing about William Golding's _Lord of the Flies_ »

October 12, 2012

The Best of All Possible Worlds in Voltaire's _Candide_


Image Source: http://treesgrowtall.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/candide.jpg

Arouet, François-Marie (Voltaire) (1694-1778). Candide, or, Optimism. 1759. French. Novella.

HON 250 Students,

Below, please . . .

. . . enter your work on this text as prescribed in class.

----------------------------------------

For more English-Blog entries on the topic of Critical Theory, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at October 12, 2012 08:40 PM

Readers' Comments:

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
30 October 2012

Question for Chapter IV, #13:
What news does Pangloss have of Cunegonde? How does Candide react?

Answer for Chapter IV, #13:
Pangloss brings the news to Candide that Cunegonde has been raped and killed and her family and home destroyed, as well. Candide reacts severely and is stricken with grief. In fact, Candide “Faints at this word; his friend recalled his senses with a little bad vinegar which he found…” (Voltaire, 10). Once he is awoken his grief continues as he declares, “Cunegonde is dead! Ah, best of worlds, where art thou?” (Voltaire, 10).


Question for Chapter IV, #14:
From what disease is Pangloss suffering? From whom did he contract this illness?

Answer for Chapter IV, #14:
When Candide first sees him in the street, he notices immediately that Pangloss is “All covered with scabs, his eyes diseased, the end of his nose eaten away, his mouth distorted, his teeth black,” and is suffering from syphilis (Voltaire, 10). When asked how he ended up in such a state, Pangloss states that “It was love; love, the comfort of the human species,” that did this to him (Voltaire, 11). What Pangloss means by this is that he contracted syphilis from the Baronesses’ servant named Paquette, whom he was in love with. He also states about the disease, “She was infected with them, she is perhaps dead of them” (Voltaire, 11).


Question for Chapter VI, #26:
Why is Pangloss hanged? Is he guilty?

Answer for Chapter VI, #26:
After the Earthquake, the people in charge at Lisbon decide that sacrificing and killing a few people now will prevent more Earthquakes in the future: “…The burning of a few people alive by a slow fire, and with great ceremony, is an infallible secret to hinder the earth from quaking” (Voltaire, 14). Pangloss is one of those chosen to be killed and is hung “For speaking his mind” (Voltaire, 14). In other words, the people did not like his opinions as exemplified when he states, “All that is is for the best… It is impossible that things should be other than they are; for everything is right” (Voltaire, 14). It is true that he is guilty of speaking his mind and giving his opinion, however, that does not mean that it was just or the right thing to do.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at October 30, 2012 09:43 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
30 October 2012

Question: What is Pangloss' argument to "prove" the disease is necessary and right? According to him, what would we not have if we didn't have syphilis?

Answer: Pangloss argues that the syphilis he is ravaged with is necessary and right because his strain of the disease could be traced back to the companions of Christopher Columbus and he sees it as a gift bestowed upon him, a gift he insists that he will not give to anybody. Pangloss also attributes syphilis to the Europeans having chocolate and the bug cochineal; he says that is Columbus had not discovered America, caught syphilis, and brought it back to Europe, then we would not have either chocolate or cochineal. (pages 15-16)


Question: Note that Pangloss is now "one-eyed" in the last two paragraphs. (Syphilis has eaten his other eye.) What is the possible symbolism here?

Answer: Pangloss losing an eye to syphilis could possibly symbolize his lack of sight or blindness to reality. His eternal optimism has continuously gotten him into terrible situations (such as losing an eye and ear through syphilis because he waited to be cured for so long), and this optimism has blinded him metaphorically and now literally. Though these horrific things happen to him, Pangloss explains these away using absurd explanations (like syphilis is the reason we have chocolate) because of the blindness that is caused by his relentless optimism.


Question: Right after Pangloss asserts that all private misfortune is for the general good, what happens on the ship in the final paragraph?

Answer: As Pangloss argues that all private misfortunes are for the greater good, the sky darkens over him, the wind picks up, and the ship is hit by a terrible storm just within sight of the Lisbon port. This could possibly be a sign that his views are twisted or the gods trying to prove him wrong. (page 17)

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at October 30, 2012 11:42 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
30 October 2012

Question 1:“Where did Candide grow up and why was he given the name “Candide”?

Answer: Candide grew up “In a castle of Westphalia, belonging to the Baron of Thunder-ten-Tronckh” (Ch.1) He was given the name Candide because he is free from bias, open and straightforward. His name derives from the Latin “Candidus” which means white or clear. Candide is very innocent and naïve. “His countenance was a true picture of his soul. He combined a true judgment with simplicity of spirit, which was the reason, I apprehend, of his being called Candide.” (Ch.1)


Question 10: “James we discover is an Anabaptist. What is an Anabaptist?”

Answer: An Anabaptist is a Christian denomination, based on the idea of re-baptizing its members, but not newborns. Through Candide, they represent the good nature of religion, and helpful and loving Christian values. Voltaire presents them in contrast to a harsh reality depicted in the story.


Question 24: “What are the various reactions to the earthquake?”

Answer: Candide was hit with stones and “lay stretched in the street covered with rubbish.” (Ch.5) He then fainted after Pangloss would not get him “a little oil and wine”. Pangloss attempted to comfort the remaining survivors with his philosophy, saying “all that is, is for the best. If there is a volcano at Lisbon it cannot be elsewhere. It is impossible that things should be other than they are; for everything is right."

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at October 31, 2012 12:04 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Humanistic Traditions
30, October, 2012

Question 5 Ch 1: What does Voltaire mean when he states that Pangloss was engaged with the servant girl (Paquette) in experiments in natural philosophy? What is natural philosophy?

Answer: Natural philosophy is the thought that everything is perfect, that everything is at its best then and there for the time. The experiments were most likely of a delicate nature between a man and a woman, such that would make a young lady blush. Pangloss was “explaining” how that was the possibility for the two and demonstrated multiple times.

Question 9 Ch 3: After the bloody stalemate, the two armies each pause and the Te Deum in their respective camps. What is the Te Deum? What’s the irony in this situation?

Answer: The Te Deum is a hymn in which god is praised; it was to be used in special occasions of happiness, such as thanksgiving. The irony is that the battlefield is not a happy time, mass slaughter with blood staining the ground, the sound of cannons erupting and spewing forth hot iron to steal a man’s life. They should not be celebrating the deaths of country men; it is another example of the pointless deaths of warfare.

Question 25 Ch 6: What is an auto-da-fe?

Answer: An auto-da-fe, translated as act of faith, was the action of individuals would be judged for the crime of heresy. If convicted, the heretics faced hanging, like three individuals did, or burning to death which Pangloss suffered. Candide escaped such torment, and was whipped instead by their belief that Pangloss was his master and responsible for Candide’s wrongs.

Posted by: William Berry at October 31, 2012 07:20 AM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
31 October 2012


Ch. 1
Question: What is Pangloss' role in the castle? What "evidence" does Pangloss present that the world is designed with the good of mankind in mind?

Answer: Pangloss was the household tutor and oracle. His evidence was that “noses were designed to hold up eyeglasses, and therefore we have eyeglasses,” (pg 2).

Ch. 3
Question: In the next-to-last paragraph of this chapter, right after Candide reasserts Pangloss’s adage about the world being “all for the best”, who does he encounter?

Answer: Candide meets his old tutor, Pangloss, only now he is a beggar covered in sores, “the tip of his nose rotted away, his mouth twisted, his teeth black,”(pg 10). It appears as if everything didn’t turn out for the best.

Ch. 4
Question: What is Pangloss’ argument to “prove” that war is good and necessary?

Answer: Pangloss says praises the progress of syphilis in Europe and says that “when thirty thousand men fight a battle with a force of the same number, there will be twenty thousand cases of syphilis on each side.” (pg 13). Later, he says that “individual misfortunes are for the general good” (pg 14).

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at October 31, 2012 01:37 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
31 October 2012

Chapter 1:
2. How is the Baron characterized in the opening chapters? What kind of guy is he?
Voltaire describes the Baron as, "The Baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia, for his
castle had not only a gate, but windows. His great hall, even, was hung
with tapestry. All the dogs of his farm-yards formed a pack of hounds at
need; his grooms were his huntsmen; and the curate of the village was
his grand almoner. They called him "My Lord," and laughed at all his
stories."(Voltaire, Candide). The Baron was very arrogant about his high status and he has all of his servants do everything for him. The Baron was very fond of Candide, but he would not let him marry his daughter.

Chapter 2:
7. How does Candide end up joining the Bulgarian army?
After Candide is thrown out of the Baron's house for flirting and sneaking a kiss with the Baron's daughter, he makes his way over to the next town and he is exhausted and famished. Two men find him and they feed him and fix him up and give him money. They ask him to drink to the Heath of the Bulgarians and they sign him up for the army.

Chapter 5:
22. How does Pangloss explain the purpose of the Bay of Lisbon?
Pangloss believed that everything was as it should be and everything is always for the best because it will turn out how it should be. So, he kept telling the victims in Lisbon that the Earthquake was for the best. He believed that nothing could be better than it was and that the Bay of Lisbon was created in order to drown the Anabaptist.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at October 31, 2012 02:19 PM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
1 November 2012

Ch. 11

Question: How does the old woman's tale tear apart the idea that rank is a permanent separator among people? How does her tale affect your view of Cunegonde and Candide?

Answer: Obviously, her tale is evidence that as easily as someone is born into power and status, it can be taken away. She was royalty, a daughter of Pope Urban X and had dresses "worth more than all the splendors of Westphalia," but by the time she is fifteen being raped and violated by pirates, and African pirates at that! Her quick fall from a life of privilege shows just how delicate social structures can be. This gives Cunegonde and Candide a pretty good shot at having a life together.


Question: Why does Voltaire include so many violent sexual outrages in his text up to this point? What psychological effect is he trying to visit on readers? The same question might be asked of his many mentions of extreme violence of any kind.

Answer: Voltaire's use of violence could be to poke fun at Pangloss's idea that we live in the best of all possible worlds. Also, the way the old woman relays her story makes it seem as if these events are commonplace, or even expected to happen, going along with the theory that if it didn't happen to her it would happen to someone else.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at November 1, 2012 10:59 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
4 November 2012


CHAPTER 19:

Question #1:
What is Voltaire’s opinion of slavery? Proof?

Answer #1:
It appears that Voltaire looks down upon slavery and sees it as an evil act. The fact that Voltaire has Candide suddenly renounces optimism after hearing the slave’s story. The slave recounts, “When we work at the sugar-canes, and the mill snatches hold of a finger, they cut off the hand; and when we attempt to run away, they cut of the leg; both cases have happened to me” (Voltaire, 44). Candide responds in distress, “Oh, Pangloss! Thou hadst not guessed at this abomination; it is the end. I must at last renounce they optimism” (Voltaire, 44). Furthermore, the fact that this certain exchange between Candide and the slave has no humor in it shows that Voltaire made note of the fact that slavery was a very serious and wicked evil to occur. Unlike the account of the missing buttock of the old woman, there is no humor whatsoever in Voltaire’s addressing of slavery.


Question #2:
What characteristic makes Candide such a sucker?

Answer #2:
It is most likely that it is Candide’s candidness and honesty that makes him such a sucker. For example, when Candide asks Vanderdendur – who is also the slave’s owner – to take him to Bordeaux, he openly lets the fact of his current wealth be known. Instead of trying to be coy and bargaining a little with Vanderdendur on the price of their journey, he concedes to his price increase every time. “Candide did not hesitate” when Vanderdendur asked for “ten thousand piasters” and in effect, Vanderdendur jacks up the price once more, and again, Candid simply agrees to his terms (Voltaire, 45). In result, Vanderdendur takes off with remaining sheep and jewels: “The skipper seized his opportunity, set sail, and put out to sea, the wind favoring him. Candide, dismayed and stupefied, soon lost sight of the vessel” (Voltaire, 46). The fact that Candid was “stupefied” shows that he is unaware of the dangers that come with his candid and honest nature.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at November 4, 2012 08:53 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
30 October 2012


Question: How and why are religion different in El Dorado?

Answer: In El Dorado, there is no religious persecution because everyone agrees on everything. Everybody agrees that there is a God, there is only one God, and he must be worshipped, “. . . there are not two, nor three, nor four. . .” (page 82), “We have, I believe, the religion of all the world: we worship God night and morning,” (page 82). The old man also explains that when they worship God, “We do not pray to Him, we have nothing to ask of Him; He has given us all we need, and we return Him thanks without ceasing,” (page 82). So rather than ask God for things like most do, they thank him instead for all of the things that God has given them. They all agree on this worship because they all have one opinion of God and religion, one opinion that they all agree on.


Question: Why do Candide and Cocambo decide to leave El Dorado? Is it a good decision in your opinion?

Answer: Candide decides that he needs to leave El Dorado because Cunégonde is not there. Candide explains to Cacambo, “if we return to our old world, only with twelve sheep laden with the pebbles of El Dorado, we shall be richer than all the kinds in Europe. We shall have no more Inquisitors to fear, and we may easily recover Miss Cunégonde,” (page 86). I believe that it is a good choice for Candide and Cacambo, but morally, it is wrong for them to take advantage of the people of El Dorado by taking their sheep and pebbles for their own greedy, selfish needs.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at November 5, 2012 12:02 AM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
4 November 2012

Question 10) How and why does Conegonde’s brother respond to Candide’s thoughts of marrying her? What does the brothers decision and attitude say about Voltaire’s opinion of the nobility?

Answer: Candide and the Baron started out as friends, as the Baron told Candide about what had happened to him recently, and they even cried together. However, as soon as Candide told him that he wanted to marry his sister, the Baron instantly became infuriated. “You insolent!" replied the Baron, "would you have the impudence to marry my sister who has seventy-two quarterings! I find thou hast the most consummate effrontery to dare to mention so presumptuous a design!” This statement shows how Voltaire disliked the idea of noble class placing themselves so much higher above the middle-class, also evident in Chapter 1, in the reference to Candide lineage only “able to prove only seventy-one quarterings” whereas Conegonde’s is seventy two.


Question 11) What is El Dorado like? What effect does El Dorado have on Candide’s beliefs in Pangloss’ axiom? Explain.

Answer: When Candide and Cacambo enter El Dorado, they see children playing with gems on the ground, and were confused as to why when they left, they did not take them with them. After eating a meal they tried to pay for it with gold, but were met with amusement by the owner and his wife, “Cacambo believed as well as Candide that they might well pay their reckoning by laying down two of those large gold pieces which they had picked up. The landlord and landlady shouted with laughter and held their sides.They soon learned from a 172- year old man that they are in the city of El Dorado, which is surrounded by mountain ridges on all sides so as to be hidden and impenetrable. When Candide asks about religion, the old man says “We do not pray to Him," said the worthy sage; "we have nothing to ask of Him; He has given us all we need, and we return Him thanks without ceasing." Candide than begins to question Pangloss’ ideas: “Had our friend Pangloss seen El Dorado he would no longer have said that the castle of Thunder-ten-Tronckh was the finest upon earth. It is evident that one must travel."

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at November 5, 2012 12:34 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
November 4, 2012

Chapters 13 & 14

Question 1:
What decision does Conégonde make in Latin America? Is it a good one? Explain.

Answer:
In chapter 13 of Candide, Conégonde makes the decision to marry Don Fernando d’Ibaraa y Figueora y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza at the advice of the old woman. In some ways this can be seen as both a good and a bad decision. On one hand, this will keep Conégonde away from harm in the investigation of the grand inquisitor, as well as in good financial standing. "You cannot run away," said she to Cunegonde, "and you have nothing to fear, for it was not you that killed my lord; besides the Governor who loves you will not suffer you to be ill-treated; therefore stay." (Chapter 13, Page 57). On the other hand, however, Conégonde would not be marrying for the right reasons, and she would be marrying her cousin, so the marriage can be seen as a bed decision in this respect.

Question 2:
How does Voltaire portray the Jesuits and their government? Details?

Answer:
In chapter 14 of Candide, the main character, Candide, approaches a Jesuit camp, but is not allowed in because the guards think that he is Spanish. This in itself portrays the Jesuits as racist and discriminatory. "However," said Cacambo, "the captain is not a Spaniard, but a German, he is ready to perish with hunger as well as myself; cannot we have something for breakfast, while we wait for his reverence?" (Chapter 14, Page 61). However, when the guard discovers that Candide is indeed German, he is allowed in to see the commander, which enforces the view of racism put on the Jesuits in this scene.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at November 5, 2012 12:54 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Humanistic Tradition
4, November, 2012

Question 1: Why do the Spanish give Candide a company of infantry?

Answer: Candide showed his great skill from being in the Bulgarian service; in doing so he exemplified his skilled and was rewarded with the rank of Captain and the company of infantry. This is in the service of the King of Spain and Portugal against a revolt, so they need as much experience they can get.

Question 2: What disagreement do Candide and Cunegonde have about Dr. Pangloss’ philosophy? To what extent does either of them hold on to Panglossian beliefs?

Answer: Cunegonde is the direct opposite of Panglossian beliefs, the belief everything is for the best/ the clock maker god, everything that has happened to her has made it clear that this is not the best world to live in or the best circumstances to live. Candide still holds on to the beliefs of Panglossian philosophy, he keeps looking at whatever he can, clinging to the past and good times.

Posted by: William Berry at November 5, 2012 07:25 AM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
31 October 2012

Chapter 12:

5. How is the old woman treated by the Christian eunich?
When she first meets him, the eunich appears to be trying to rape her, but then he speaks in her native language and she realizes that he is a eunich. After that, the eunich listens to the old woman tell her story and he takes care of her by providing her with food and shelter and clothes. She realizes that he used to work for her mother and he basically raised her when she was little. He promises to take her to Italy while he in on his way somewhere else, but instead he sells her into slavery.

6. How does the old woman lose her buttock?
She loses her buttock because after the eunich sold her into slavery she was sold and traded many times and she finally ended up in a small fort with a number of people who worked for her master. They all began to starve so they killed and consumed the two eunuch guards. They then decided they were going to kill the women as well in order to survive but then the Iman persuaded them not to kill all of the women at one time. He suggested that they cut off the buttocks of the women one at a time, and that is what happened to her. The old woman says, "He had great eloquence; he persuaded them; we underwent this terrible operation. The Iman applied the same balsam to us, as he does to children after circumcision; and we all nearly died."

7. Is Voltaire an optimist about the human condition? Explain.
I believe that Voltaire is indeed an optimist about the human condition because as he writes all of this, explaining all of the horrible things that happened to this woman, he does not make it seem that because of these things she is living a horrible life. The old woman even proclaims, "I have taken notice of a vast number of people who held their own existence in abhorrence, and yet I never knew of more than eight who voluntarily put an end to their misery." Although there have been terrible things to happen to many people, they pushed through and still managed to lead their lives and they had hope rather than taking their lives.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at November 5, 2012 03:28 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
6 November 2012

Chapters 21-30

Question #6:
What is the point of the episode in which Candide and Martin witness the execution of Admiral Byng (Chapter 23).

Answer #6:
Candide’s witnessing of Admiral Byng provides for an additional counter of Pangloss’ point of view of “This best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire, 5). The idea of the admiral being killed just to encourage the other soldiers to fight harder causes Candide to question, once more, the ideas that Pangloss taught him. In fact, “Candide was so shocked and bewildered by what he saw and heard, that he would not set foot on shore…” (Voltaire, 59). This further demonstrates that Candide is not so eager to immediately agree with Pangloss that all that happens is for the best.

Question #16:
What surprise is in store for Candide with Cunegonde? What is the Baron’s response to Cunegonde’s demand, and Candide’s response to the Baron?

Answer #16:
To Candide’s great surprise, Cunegonde “Has lost her beauty and has become horribly ugly” (Voltaire, 70). Candide is, of course, shocked by this and even has to fight a grimace when embracing her: “…Candide, seeing his beautiful Cunegonde embrowned, with blood-shot eyes, withered neck, wrinkled cheeks, and rough, red arms, recoiled three paces, seized with horror, and then advanced out of good manners” (Voltaire, 75).
Even though Candide is horrified by the physical state of his beloved Cunegonde, he decides to honor his decision to marry her and proposes to the Baron, “That he intended marrying his sister” still (Voltaire, 75). The Baron responds with a firm, “No; my sister shall only marry a baron of the empire” (Voltaire, 75). Basically, the Baron does not want Candide to marry his sister because of his lack of status and bloodlines. Furthermore, Candide responds boldly and states, “Thou foolish fellow…She was a scullion, and is very ugly, yet I am so condescending as to marry her…I should kill thee again, were I only to consult my anger” (Voltaire, 75). Candide refuses to accept the Baron’s response and marries Cunegonde more to defy the Baron than because of love.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at November 6, 2012 11:53 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
7 November 2012


Question: In Chapter 21, what are Martin’s views concerning France and Paris? How do they compare with Candide’s? (Notice how certain themes here re-surface in the concluding chapter of the story.)


Answer: Martin describes a negative experience in France, claiming that is was chaos and confusion, “where everybody seeks pleasure and scarcely any one finds it,” (page 102, line 10). He also tells Candide that he was robbed and imprisoned for eight days (page 102, lines 12-13), and finishes by saying that he’s heard of polite people in France, yet he had not seen it. Candide, however, being the optimist that he is, assures Martin that France and its people act in no such manner. After his experience in El Dorado, Candide is sure that the French men have surely changed their characters because of free will (unlike the hawks that Martin uses in a metaphor in page 104, lines 8-9).

Question: What do Candide and Martin learn at the dinner with the 6 strangers at the public inn in Venice (Chapter 26)? Who turns up, in what circumstances? What is familiar, in the tale we’ve become acquainted with, about the kind of story behind this surprise reappearance?


Answer: Candide and Martin learn from that Cunegonde is in Constantinople (page 142, line 11). They are told this by Cacambo, who is now a servant to one of the six strangers. The trend we are seeing in this story is the fall of the rich and mighty, along with the fall of aristocracy. These great men, these leaders, these teachers, these kings have fallen, becoming poorer than a man of no title such as Candide.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at November 7, 2012 12:04 AM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
6 November 2012

Question 8) What do we learn from the stories of Paquette (on the life of a prostitute) and Friar Giroflee (on religious faith)?

Answer: We learn from both Paquette and Friar Giroflee that you cannot judge someone by their appearance. “The Theatin looked fresh coloured, plump, and vigorous; his eyes were sparkling, his air assured, his look lofty, and his step bold. The girl was very pretty, and sang; she looked amorously at her Theatin, and from time to time pinched his fat cheeks.” (Ch. 24, Pg. 126) Candide assumes from the way the look and act that “they are very happy” (Pg.127), at peace with the world and in love with each other. Paquette tells them how she was forced into being the mistress to both a surgeon and a judge in order to stay alive and free. “Ah! sir, if you could only imagine what it is to be obliged to caress indifferently an old merchant, a lawyer, a monk, a gondolier, an abbé, to be exposed to abuse and insults; to be often reduced to borrowing a petticoat, only to go and have it raised by a disagreeable man; to be robbed by one of what one has earned from another; to be subject to the extortions of the officers of justice; and to have in prospect only a frightful old age, a hospital, and a dung-hill; you would conclude that I am one of the most unhappy creatures in the world."(Pg. 129) The Friar confesses to them that he was forced into religious life, he hates the convent, and he spends most of his money on women.


Question 15) What are the themes of Pangloss’ story? What are we to think of the explanation he gives of his refusal to recant?

Answer: Pangloss talks about his near-death experiences, imprisonment, and his encounters with a woman. The only recurring theme is his own foolishness in regard to situations, and the fact that they have done nothing to change his shallow optimism and foolish ideology. Pangloss hangs on to an idea even after it has been proven wrong to him in front of his face."I am still of my first opinion," answered Pangloss, "for I am a philosopher and I cannot retract, especially as Leibnitz could never be wrong; and besides, the pre-established harmony is the finest thing in the world” (Pg.158)


I used the Project Gutenberg EBook of Candide, by Voltaire

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at November 7, 2012 12:24 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Humanistic Traditions
7, November, 2012

Answers are based on the edition posted on lipguides.

Question 3: In Chapter 22, Candide and Martin encounter a scholar at the dinner hosted by the Marchiness of Parolignac. What is Voltaire up to in designing this conversation?

Answer: Voltaire is making a play of irony; he has directed this conversation at his on book instead of the works which they were supposed to be speaking of. It is the representation of the guidelines he gave himself while writing the novel, “The man of taste explained very clearly how a piece may be in some manner interesting without having a grain of merit.”(pg53); also Voltaire used the conversation to poke fun at more sophisticated literature. "Whoever," added he, "neglects any one of these rules, though he may write two or three tragedies with tolerable success, will never be reckoned in the number of good authors.”(pg53).

Question 9: The visit to Senator Pococurante is an important episode. How is his name fitting? How does Pococurante’s life stand with respect to the subject of “the cares of” life or “cares in” life? How about with respect to “caring for” life?

Answer: Senator Pococurante is a very pious man, judges everything under such a degree of scrutiny that nothing seems to please him. "They are by Raphael,…. but I cannot say they please me”(pg62). “This noise," said the noble Venetian, "may amuse one for a little time, but if it were to last above half an hour, it would grow tiresome to everybody”.(pg63). Senator Pococurante’s views of cares, in life, of life, and the respect to caring for life are interesting. He seems to disdain all the possessions he has, he is surrounded by luxury and hates it. Nothing is sacred to this man, his opinions are what is most important to him, how he has the knowledge over others and can judge everything.

Posted by: William Berry at November 7, 2012 08:52 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
November 7, 2012

Question 4:
What is the hoax played by the Abbé? How do the pair escape?

Answer:
The hoax played the Abbé in chapter 22 of Candide involves Candide. The Abbé convinces Candide and Martin that Cunégonde is sick in Paris by sending a forged letter from her asking them to visit. “’My very dear love, for eight days I have been ill in this town. I learn that you are here. I would fly to your arms if I could but move. I was informed of your passage at Bordeaux, where I left faithful Cacambo and the old woman, who are to follow me very soon,’” (Chapter 22, page 117). When they get to the place she is supposed to be however, they are told they cannot light the room to view her because the light will hurt her eyes. Instead, Candide gives the woman he believes to be Cunégonde diamonds and other gems. These however, are meant for Abbé.

Question 7:
Why is Candide inconsolably depressed upon their arrival in Venice? (Would one expect consolation out of Martin?)

Answer:
When martin and Candide are in Venice, Candide falls into a great depression because he cannot find Cunégonde and he has been looking for months. “He fell into a deep melancholy, and neither went to see the opera, nor any of the other diversions of the Carnival; nay, he was proof against the temptations of all the ladies,” (Chapter 24, page 126). Martin, rather than consoling Candide, chastises him for trusting the word of someone so wealthy that Cunégonde was in Venice. However, with such a negative view on the world, it is difficult to expect sympathy from such a character.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at November 7, 2012 12:48 PM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
7 November 2012

Question: 5. How does Martin's view of England compare to his view of France?

Answer: Martin considers the French to be mostly insane, some more than others. Their main motive for everything is "love, followed by lying"(78). As for England, Martin is unsure whether the people are more insane than the French, but he does say that they "are extremely touchy"(94).


Question: 13. What is Martin's view of the suffering of the six? Who has the most convincing case- Martin or Candide?

Answer: Martin doesn't see anything significant about the plight of the six kings. "Kings are often dethroned; it's quite usual"(115) Martin says, and he also believes that dining with them was no big deal. But I prefer Candide's take, because he takes pity on them and recognizes that things could be worse when he says that "there may be many other kings even unluckier"(114).

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at November 7, 2012 03:02 PM

Stacey Bigge & Sarah Nobles & Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
7 November 2012

Group 1

Question #1:
What is the relationship between Candide’s adventures and Pangloss’s teachings?

Answer #1:
All of Pangloss’s teachings are tested through Candide’s adventures. For example, when Candide and Cacambo meet a slave in Surinam lying in the middle of the street. The slave is an a horrible state physically and states, “When we work at the sugar-canes, and the mill snatches hold of a finger, they cut off the hand; and when we attempt to run away, they cut off the leg…This is the price at which you eat sugar in Europe” (Voltaire, 44). Candide’s reaction to this shows Pangloss’ teachings being tested. Candide cries, “Oh, Pangloss! Thou hadst not guessed at this abomination; it is the end. I must at last renounce thy optimism.” Here we can see one of Candide’s adventures test Pangloss’s teaching that this is the “Best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire, 5).

Question #2:
What does each main character in Candid symbolize? What does Voltaire use each character for? How does the novel’s setting in time and place shape or not shape the perspective of each major character?

Answer #2:
In Candide, the characters offer an array of symbols. Candide is naïve and impressionable. Voltaire uses his character as a progression to a belief in humanism. For instance, the Candide in the beginning is very different from the Candide in the middle and end of the storyline. When the earthquake occurs, and they are in “the midst of the dying and the dead” and Candide’s inability to handle the situation like Pangloss and the fact that he “fainted away” illuminates the idea that he is progressing away from Pangloss’s ideas of fate and to the idea of humanism (Voltaire, 13 & 14).
Pangloss is a symbol of eternal optimism. Candide uses him as a contradiction to what is really going on in the world – like earthquakes, bloody wars, illnesses, death, etc. Pangloss even goes as far to absurdly justify the fact that he got syphilis in order to fit his ideology that this is the “Best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire, 5). He proclaims that his contracting the disease “Was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds” (Voltaire, 11).
Martin on the other hand symbolizes eternal pessimism and Voltaire uses him as a foil to Pangloss. He shows the other side of the spectrum and contradicts many teachings of Pangloss. When Candide and Martin hear the news that the man who robbed Candide earlier has drowned, Candide seems to think that Pangloss’s teachings have ben reinstated, however Martin does not: “Why should the passengers be doomed also to destruction? God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest” (Voltaire, 49). This illuminates the idea that Martin is a representation of pessimism.
Cunegonde is a symbol of the idea that you does not always get what you want. Originally, she is beautiful and the subject of Candide’s obsession, but this all changes in the tail end of the novel when Candide discovers that she “Has lost her beauty and has become horribly ugly” (Voltaire, 70). Voltaire uses her to show that situations are completely subject to change and the end result are not always what is initially wanted.
Cacambo represents the voice of reason in the story. Voltaire uses him as an opposite of both Pangloss and Martin – he is really not an optimists. He has experienced a lot in the world and concludes, “"the law of nature teaches us to kill our neighbor” (Voltaire, 35).
As far as the novel’s setting in time and place, this was a time period when Liebnizian optimism was a widely accepted ideology of life. Voltaire thinks about how this idea completely contradicts the events happening in the world. Horrible disasters like earthquakes would occur and these events would not match up with their beliefs. This is exactly Voltaire’s purpose for writing Candide – to address the contradictions that he saw present and as a problem during his times.

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at November 7, 2012 05:05 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
10 November 2012

Question #8:
Is Pangloss still Candide’s teacher and mentor at the end of the story, or have their roles evolved into something else? Is Candide wiser at the end of the story?

Answer #8:
At the end of Voltaire’s story, Pangloss and Candide’s relationship is not as it was at the start of the story. Both of these characters have changed so much over the course of the story that it really would not be possible for their relationship to stay the same. This is illuminated in the very last chapter when Pangloss is continuing on his philosophy of optimism and tells Candide that if he had not been subject to such horrible events in his life than “You would not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio-nuts” (Voltaire, 79). Candide does not buy into this ideology like he once did as exemplified when he states, “All that is very well, but let us cultivate our garden” (Voltaire, 79). In the past, Candide would be listening on the edge of his seat, wide-eyed, and anxious, but this quote shows that Candide is trying to get Pangloss to move on. Even though Pangloss was once a kind of idol to Candide, it is apparent that Candide has grown wiser and he is aware that this is not the “Best of all possible worlds” (Voltaire, 5).

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at November 10, 2012 09:11 PM

Zach Brasseur & Will Berry
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
13 November 2012

Question 3: How do the experiences of the women in Candide differ from those of the men? How do their reactions to those experiences differ from those of the men?

Answer: The women seem to have far more traumatic experiences than the men do, such as being kidnapped, raped multiple times, and mutilated in bizarre fashion. Of course, the men don't have pleasent experiences either, as Candide is forced to "run the gauntlet thirty-six times" (6) as well roaming the world in agony looking for his lost love. Despite this, the women are still treated like mere objects while the men tend to get themselves into and out of trouble. The women on the other hand are just floated around without any real say in what happens to them. After the old woman relays her story, she concludes with a sort of pessimistic tone saying that there is no man who loves his life. But at the same time, she doesn't necessarily curse her own life, but rather says "I've had experience, I know the world," (39) implying that she is very indifferent about it all.


Question 4: Martin claims that people "live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom." Do the events of the novel support that statement? Is one of the two options worse than the other? If what Martin says is true, what does it say about the value of social change and political activism? Discuss Martin's philosophical standpoint. Is he realistic or overly pessimistic? Does Voltaire agree with Martin's outlook on the world? Why or why not?

Answer: Martin's statement is supported by two characters in the novel, Candide is the "convulsions of misery" while Lord Pococurante represents the "lethargy of boredom". Candide is always complaining and mourning his poor fortune, such as when he arrives in Paraguay and the first thing he says is "O my dear Cunegonde!" (43) and he says similar things at the beginning of almost every chapter. The nobleman on the other hand cannot be satisfied by anything. The "pretty girls" he has in his home are "all right" (102) and he has lots of paintings, but he "no longer look(s) at them". This belief of Martin's would imply that, in the case of political or social change, there are two distinct camps: those who agonize over the current system but don't change it, and those who see things as they are, but are too fed up to care. Martin's philosophy is overly pessimistic, such as his comment on the hawks eating the pigeons. For him there is no middle ground between Pangloss' "best of all possible worlds" and Voltaire's thoughts on free will.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at November 13, 2012 07:13 PM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
13 November 2012


Question: What does Voltaire think about European colonization of the Americas? Discuss the significance of the character of Cacambo and of Candide's encounter with the slave.

Answer: It's probably safe to say that Voltaire is generally opposed to colonization, specifically the corruption and hypocrisy among the Jesuits. When Candide is taken into the commander's tent and eats a "first-rate breakfast out of golden bowls" and the native Paraguayans eat "out of wooden bowls... in the blazing sun" (45). Cacambo is significant because of his optimistic view of colonization and his praise for the Jesuits. He calls the Paraguayan government a "really fantastic thing" and he claims that he has "never seen anything as close to God as the Jesuits" (44). He is also exceedingly loyal to Candide throughout the novel. Candide's encounter with the slave in Suriname also shows Voltaire's distaste for colonization of the Americas.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at November 13, 2012 09:47 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 250 CA02
November 13, 2012


Question: What does the cultivation of Candide’s garden symbolize? What message is Voltaire sending to the reader?


Answer: Throughout the story, Candide can’t seem to find happiness in anything, even though he’s filthy rich and has married the girl that he has been searching for throughout this whole adventure. So at the end of his adventure, Candide finally learns that there is no use in trying to find happiness, to find a purpose in life in adventure and an exciting life. Rather, he attempts to and discovers that he can find happiness in the hard work of farming and cultivating of his garden; he has created something on his own and he finds enlightenment through that, through working hard. Martin says, "Let us work . . . without disputing; it is the only way to render life tolerable,” (page 167, line 9). Martin also, “concluded that man was born to live either in a state of distracting inquietude or of lethargic disgust,” (page 163, line 6). Voltaire is sending readers the message that the true route to happiness is through hard work, through cultivating their own garden.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at November 13, 2012 10:56 PM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
13 November 2012

Question 4: What is the significance of Candide’s retreat to his garden at the end of the novel? Does he find a credible solution to the problems and evils he has experienced?

Answer: After finally getting everything that he’s ever wanted, Candide is still not happy. Money, laziness, and life with Cunegonde and friends does not make Candide content. “Martin especially concluded that man was born to live either in a state of distracting inquietude or of lethargic disgust.” (Pg. 163, Ln. 6) Candide feels that the only way to get out of the boring routine that he has ended up in is to fulfill his life through development and cultivation of his garden. With hard work and dedication to a new ideal, he is able to focus on self-improvement through his garden. By dedicating himself to the garden, it shows how Candide has decided to give up on trying for other things in life, and chose work to pursue happiness. Yes, because by working towards a reasonable goal, he is able to find satisfaction in ways previously not able to through his travels and sufferings. I can use the famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” He finds happiness along the route, not in the ending.

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at November 13, 2012 11:27 PM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Humanistic Traditions
12, November, 2012

Question: Is Voltaire’s portrait of Eldorado optimistic or pessimistic? Why?

Answer: Voltaire’s portrait is optimistic, he first describes it through Candide’s eyes by viewing the people, how beautiful they were, the happiness of the children running and playing.(pg35) Voltaire’s portrait differs from many, on the existence of Eldorado. Yes it was perceived to be a city of gold, but too many “gold” was only the precious metal, where Voltaire paints a picture of gold within the people. How they live with harmony, none starve, no conflicts among the people, no theft; a perfect golden society. A society that is past greed and pettiness, instead strives for the betterment of all people.

Posted by: William Berry at November 14, 2012 07:04 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
November 14, 2012

Question: Is Pangloss still Candide's teacher and mentor at the end of the story, or have their roles evolved into something else? Is Candide wiser at the end of the story?

Answer: By the end of the story of Candide, the characters of Pangloss and Candide have evolved from how they were at the beginning of the novelette. Throughout Candide’s journey, he gained confidence and knowledge, despite all of the hardships he faced. By the end of his journey, Candide doesn’t need Pangloss anymore and has gained enough confidence to be able to live his own life. "All that is very well," answered Candide, "but let us cultivate our garden," (Chapter 30, Page 166). Candide tells Pangloss this after he tries to tell Candide that everything he went through was just so he could be in the very place he was at the end of the story. Candide brushes off the comment, and decides to just move on with his life.

Posted by: Anna McEntee at November 14, 2012 12:54 PM

Jordan Bailey
Rhett Pringle
Group 3
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
14 November 2012

Group 3
5. Discuss the significance of Jacques' character. How does it fir in with Voltaire's general view of human nature? What is the significance of his death?

Jacques is the model character of Christian Ideals. He fits in with Voltaire's general view of human nature. Jacques saw people who were being mistreated and even though he did not know them, he took care of them and clothed and fed them because he is a good person (Page 12). However, when he saves the other guy from falling overboard off of the ship, the guy does not even glance down as Jacques falls into the water. This fits Voltaire's ideas about the human race because Voltaire believed that that life is ultimately rough, even if you are a nice person. So, if you save someone's life from falling off a ship, they are not concerned about you even though you saved them, because they lived.

6. What do you think of this ending? Why do the characters end up choosing a life of labor? Does Voltaire endorse this as a viable solution to suffering? One critic has stated that, in the opening chapters, Candide lives in a "false paradise of Panglossian self-delusion." What do you think the critic means by this? How is Candide's condition better or worse by the end of the tale?

We think the ending is fitting for the story because it encompasses Voltaire's ideas. They chose a life of labor so that they had something to do, something to focus on and keep themselves occupied with something that was simple. Gardening was a way for them all to keep busy. I think the critic meant that in the beginning of story Candide felt that things were as good as they could have been, and at the end they made a life for themselves keeping themselves busy.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at November 14, 2012 01:11 PM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
14 November 2012

2. The old woman has thought about suicide "a hundred times" but has refused to end her life. Why might that be?

The old woman told a story that outlined a dark past full of terrible things that happened to her and to other people. She had clearly suffered a great deal and it had left her in miserable conditions. But through every one of those trials, she endured through them and continued to live. The way that she was telling the story was kind of positive, in that she reflected on what had happened but she seemed to grow as a person with all of the things that she saw. She may have thought the opposite of Pangloss, that this was not the best that things could be, but that things could get better so she did not take her life because she was not stuck if she kept moving.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at November 14, 2012 01:36 PM

Stacey Bigge
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
26 November 2012

Fool vs. Fool

There is no doubt that in the great works of Voltaire’s Candide and Moliere’s Tartuffe, there are characters that display great foolishness. In particular, these characters are Orgon in Tartuffe and Candide in Candide. Both Orgon and Candide are very foolish at times, which comes out through each of their rashness and gullibility, yet their realizations of their foolishness evolves differently for each of them, which can bee seen through their actions in regards to philosophy and religion women, and wealth.
The foolishness of both Orgon and Candide can be seen in their approaches to philosophy and religion. Orgon believes Tartuffe to be the man of God he claims to be as shown when Orgon states, “Ah! If you’d seen him, as I saw him first, / Kneeled, on both knees, right opposite my place, And drew the eyes of all the congregation, / To watch the fervor of his prayers to heaven” (Moliere 1.6). There is no hesitation of whether he believes in Tartuffe as a pious man or not, which shows all at once his gullibility and his rashness to jump to conclusions. However, this does change by the end of Moliere’s work when he is finally able to see what a fool he has been for believing in Tartuffe’s holiness. Upon realizing Tartuffe’s advances on his wife, Orgon finally repents his beliefs in Tartuffe’s piousness when he declares, “My holy man! You want to put it on me! / How is your soul abandons to temptation!” (Moliere 4.7). His realization of his foolishness is more of a revelation than it is for Candide whose realization of his foolishness is more of a slow and changing process. At the start, and then throughout different parts of the storyline, Candide believes in Pangloss’s teachings of “In this best of all possible worlds” wholeheartedly (Voltaire 5). This is demonstrated as he “Listened attentively and believed innocently…” (Voltaire 5). However, you can see in other instances when he starts to question his approach and interpretation of Pangloss’s philosophy of eternal optimism. For example, he acknowledges his foolishness when he and Martin see a suffering slave in the middle of the street. Upon seeing this “Price at which” they “Eat sugar in Europe,” Candide exclaims, “Oh, Pangloss! Thou hadst not guessed at this abomination; it is the end. I must at last renounce thy optimism” (Voltaire 44). However, shortly after this interaction, Candide is with the eternally pessimistic Martin when Candide tries to tell him, “There are, however, some good things” (Voltaire 48). While this is not the wide-eyed gullible Candide seen at the start of the novel, it is still a step in the direction of once and for all renouncing Pangloss’s philosophy and making recognition of how foolish he has been. For now he does not believe in everything to be good, but only “some” things. This further shows that his progression to realizing his foolishness is just that – a progression – not the sudden comprehension that it is for Orgon. He finally seems to grasp his past mistakes and foolish decisions at the close of Voltaire’s work when Pangloss continues preaching his philosophy and Candide cuts in and states, “All that is very well, but let us cultivate our garden” (Voltaire 79). This flip-flopping of Candide displays, all at once, the rashness and gullibility that can also be seen in Orgon, but also the evolution of realization that Orgon does not exemplify.
Orgon’s and Candide’s approach to the women in their lives further shows how they are not only very foolish, but how their foolishness is realized at different times for each of them. Orgon is blind to Tartuffe’s advances on his wife Elmire, even when his son Damis states with the utmost conviction, “I’ve just surprised him making to your wife / The shameful offer of a guilty love / …But I will not condone such shamelessness, / Nor so far wrong you as to keep it secret” (Moliere 3.5). Orgon responds by shouting, “You miscreant, can you dare, with such a falsehood, / To try to stain the whiteness of his virtue?” (Moliere 3.6). This conversation between father and son further shows Orgon’s gullibility and foolishness. His wife is being put through advances from Tartuffe, yet he does not even believe his own son when he tries to tell him about the situation. Furthermore, his wife is not the only woman in Orgon’s life that must face his foolishness head on. His daughter, Mariane is in love with a commoner named Valere yet his father tries to force her to marry Tartuffe. Orgon does not realize this is a big mistake until after Tartuffe attempts to ruin him and the truth comes out. Once more, Orgon displays actions that speak gullibility and rashness, as he does not take the time to listen to what his daughter wants. However, the very last thing Orgon says is, “With wedded happiness reward Valere, / And crown a lover noble and sincere” (Moliere 5.8). Here you can see he has finally recognized how foolish he has been and really does a complete one-eighty. Moreover, Candide is also blinded by the woman in his life. Candide goes to extreme lengths to get to his love, Cunegonde. He even goes as far as murder in order to get back to her. He shockingly strikes and kills – so thought at the time – Cunegonde’s brother, the Baron, for the simple reason that he objected to his plant to marry Cunegonde. Just before striking the Baron, Candide shouts, “We shall see that, thou scoundrel!” (Voltaire 33). He is blinded by love, which brings out his rash foolishness. Candide starts to realize he has been foolish in what he thought was love when he realizes Cunegonde has turned ugly “With blood-shot eyes, withered neck, wrinkled cheeks, and rough, red arms…” (Voltaire 75). Candide starts to realize how foolish in love he was upon seeing his once beloved Cunegonde and as shown when he “Recoiled three paces, seized with horror, and then advanced out of good manners”(Voltaire 75). However, even after seeing the changed Cunegonde he tries to convince himself that he is marrying her for the right reasons; even though he is really now doing it just to push the buttons of her brother, the Baron – the same man that Candide thought he had killed. This misplaced motivation to marry Cunegonde can be seen when he states to the Baron, “I will not suffer such meanness on her part, and such insolence on yours…” (Voltaire 75). This hesitation shows that Candide’s consciousness of his folly is a much slower process than it is for Orgon. It is clear that the progressions of each of these characters in respect to their foolishness are very different, yet it is still very apparent that each of them have been very foolish, rash, and gullible at times.
In respect to wealth, Orgon and Candide, once more, display their foolishness in the utmost ways. Orgon is irrational and impulsive enough to sign over all of his estate to Tartuffe in a deed. After Orgon disowns his own son and begs Tartuffe to stay with him, Tartuffe, seeing Orgon’s current vulnerability, takes this golden opportunity to get Orgon’s complete trust, once more, and gets him to sign the deed. Orgon outcries to Tartuffe, “Poor man! We’ll go make haste to draw the deed aright, / And then let envy burst itself with spite!” (Moliere 3.7). He does not realize he has made a monumental mistake until Mr. Loyal – a court-bailiff – comes to tell Orgon he must vacate the house because it no longer belongs to him but to Tartuffe. When Tartuffe arrives at the door with an officer to arrest Orgon for the contents of his strongbox, Orgon cries, “Traitor! You saved this worse stroke for the last; / This crowns your perfidies, and ruins me” (Moliere 5.7). In between this poor lack of judgment of Tartuffe and the sudden realization he has when Tartuffe comes to claim his property and arrest him, there are numerous cases of other characters trying to get Orgon to open his eyes to the truth about Tartuffe. For example, Cleante pleads to Orgon, “Was such infatuation ever heard of? / And can a man to-day have charms to make you / Forget all else, relieve his poverty, / Give him a home, and then…?” (Moliere 1.6). To this Orgon replies fervently, “Stop there, good brother, / You do not know the man you’re speaking of” (Moliere 1.6). This is unlike the case of Candide. In regards to wealth, Candide is not only over trusting of a certain sailor, who promises to take him to Italy, but is outrageously duped by him when he more than willingly gives him all the money he asks for. The sailor ends up leaving him on shore and takes his red sheep and large amount money. At this point Candide is starting to see his foolishness when he shouts, “Alas! This is a trick worthy of the old world!” (Voltaire 46). Voltaire also paints the picture of the new and gloomy thoughts of Candide after he has been duped by the sailor with the quote, “The villainy of mankind presented itself before his imagination in all its deformity, and his mind was fill with gloomy ideas” (Voltaire 46). While in this instance Candide is realizing he was not wise in terms of his wealth and is not in the “best of all possible worlds” mood that Pangloss surely would hope for him to be in, the flip-flopping of Candide can be seen shortly after the he has been cheated by the sailor as he “Reflected upon what he had still left, and when he mentioned the name of Cunegonde, especially towards the latter end of a repast, he inclined to Pangloss’s doctrine” (Voltaire 47). This illuminates the idea that Candide is not consistent in realizing his foolishness and acts on impulse just as Orgon does. Once more, it is clear that both Orgon and Tartuffe make rash and foolish decisions, but nonetheless, their progressions of comprehending just how foolish they have been are not alike.
There is no doubt that both Voltaire’s Candide and Moliere’s Tartuffe are very foolish people at times, who make unwise decisions. Each of these characters acts out of rashness and gullibility; however, their progressions in respect to the realizations of their foolishness are vastly different. The gullible Orgon realizes just how foolish he has been all at once, without turning back, while Candide has an internal battle over time with flip-flopping back and forth. While this is a case of fool vs. fool, there is still a complexity that shines through each one of these characters, proving that foolishness in one is not all at once the same foolishness in another. 


Works Cited

Poquelin, Jean-Baptiste (Moliere). Tartuffe, or, The Imposter. Trans. Curtis Hidden Page. Produced by Dagny and John Vickers. January 2000. EBook #2027. Project Gutenberg. Web. 18 November 2012 .

Arouet, François-Marie (Voltaire). Candide. Produced by Chuck Greif. November 2006. EBook #19942. Project Gutenberg. Web. 18 November 2012 .

Posted by: Stacey Bigge at November 25, 2012 06:39 PM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
26 November 2012

Question: Ideas of evil in Tartuffe and Candide

Answer:
In both Tartuffe and Candide, the ideas of evil are explored. Using characters in the plays, they exemplify these evils and their follies. Three evils blatant throughout both plays are deceit and lying, hypocrisy, and foolishness. These three evils cause much of the turmoil and trouble in the plays. Both Voltaire and Molière display these themes prominently and constantly refer back to them.

Deceit and lying are extremely prominent themes in both Tartuffe and Candide. In Tartuffe, the play is centered around the lies and deceit of Tartuffe, a main character. Tartuffe enters Orgon’s home with everyone under the impression that he is a tutor when in reality, he is an actor living in Orgon’s home to aid him in the art of theater so that he can impress a local beauty. Orgon lies to his family, Tartuffe lies to Orgon, Elmire lies to Orgon, etc., and this only causes more trouble. The extent of the lies even forces others to lie in order to reveal the truth, such as Elmire when she states, “I’m going to act quite strangely, now, and you must not be shocked at anything I do. Whatever I may say, you must excuse as part of that deceit that I’m forced to use,” (Act IV, Scene IV, line 7). The lies eventually snowball into a cycle of deceit that only leads to sorrow and trouble with the law. In Candide, the lies aren’t to others, but rather characters lying to themselves, in contrast to Tartuffe. For example, any tragedy that occurs is brushed off by Pangloss (and to an extent Candide), as he simply justifies that they have reasons for happening, often saying that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” Even when Pangloss is infected with syphilis that tears away at him physically, he rationalizes his infliction with lies that his disease connects him with Christopher Columbus and if not for syphilis, we wouldn’t have chocolate or cochineal (obviously lying to himself in order to validate his illness). While in Tartuffe, the characters lie to each other, in Candide, the characters lie to themselves; though, both methods cause immense trouble for the parties involved. The authors in both plays illustrate how lying and being deceitful causes much harm.

Hypocrisy runs rampant in both stories, another idea of evil. In Tartuffe, Tartuffe himself is the biggest hypocrite of all. Seen as the most wicked of men, Tartuffe attempts to hide his own faults throughout the entire play, an example of hypocrisy. Dorine points this out, stating, “You see him as a saint. I’m far less awed; in fact, I see right through him. He’s a fraud,” (Act I, Scene I, Line 23). Later in the same scene, Dorine continues by defining hypocrisy, “By talking up their neighbour’s indiscretions they seek to camoflauge their own transgressions,” (Act I, Scene I, Line 31). They find Tartuffe’s actions to be hypocritical because he is supposed to be a holy man. Unlike Tartuffe, in Candide, the evil of hypocrisy is more directed towards religion as a whole, rather than the hypocrisy of a holy man (though hypocritical religion plays a role in both plays). In Candide, there are numerous hypocritical religious leaders, such as the women that claims to be the daughter of the Pope (a man who is supposed to remain celibate), the friar who is a jewel thief, and a possibly homosexual Jesuit superior that had an affair with the Baron’s son. Voltaire constantly satirizes religion and it’s hypocrisy throughout the play in many forms, indicating that it is an evil of the world as he shows how the hypocritical nature of these religious leaders only leads to turmoil and destruction (in the form of death, war, etc.).

The last idea of evil that is common in both plays is foolishness. Orgon himself is the biggest fool, being fooled by Tartuffe as he convinces Orgon to worship him and then he uses his position in the house for his own advantage. Dorine points out Orgon’s foolishness, saying, “But how a man like you, who looks so wise and wears a mustache of such splendid size can be so foolish. . .” (Act II, Scene II, Line 14). Orgon’s foolishness is what causes so much turmoil throughout the play; he’s too foolish to see through Tartuffe’s motives to whisk away his wife. In Candide, the foolishness comes in the form of blind optimism. Pangloss and Candide blindly go through life with the belief that everything is for the better and that this is the best of all possible worlds. By being such fools, they’re unable to fully see the world for what it is. Like in Tartuffe, the foolishness is a direct result of ignorance; the correlation says much to the demeanor of the characters and has much influence on the plays as a whole.

Though they are two very different plays, both Tartuffe and Candide contain nearly identical ideas of what evil is: deceit and lying, hypocrisy, and foolishness. These three evil themes, though diverse throughout both plays, cause the majority of the chaos and mayhem and referred continuously throughout the plays. It shows that during this humanistic period of civilization, the ideas of what is evil was generally universal.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at November 26, 2012 12:11 AM

Rhett Pringle
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
25 November 2012

Question 5: Compare and contrast the “solutions” in Tartuffe and Candide (e.g. the king saving Orgon vs. the final Garden solution in Candide)

Answer:
The closure of a story is a critical part in the overall plot of a play. It provides a solution to the problems presented throughout the characters’ experiences. In Moliere’s Tartuffe and Voltaire’s Candide, the common ideas of self-awareness, acceptance, and the unexpected closure to both stories are vital to the resolution of the scenarios presented in both plays.
A common theme at the conclusion of both Candide and Tartuffe is the idea of self-realization and personal awareness. By the end of both stories, the main characters Orgon and Candide are able to see some of their personal flaws, the mistakes they have made throughout the story and what they have accomplished with their time and effort. Near the end of the story Orgon fully realizes that he has been deceived by Tartuffe, and comprehends the consequences of his trust to such a deceitful man. “Traitor! You saved this worst stroke for the last; This crowns your perfidies, and ruins me.” (pg. 77) Orgon is ruined until the king’s wisdom, mercy, and understanding save him from his fate. Orgon is ready to make amends for the foolish way he has been acting and forcing upon his family, so he makes plans to praise the king for his kindness, and to wed Valere and Mariane. “We’ll go, and at his feet kneel down, With joy to thank him for his goodness shown; And this first duty done, with honours due, We’ll then attend upon another, too. With wedded happiness reward Valere, And crown a lover noble and sincere.” (pg. 80) Candide comes to terms with himself when he realizes that money, relaxation, security, peace, and life with Cunegonde do not make him happy. After all his journeys and struggles, he is left to wonder what it all was worth. “Martin especially concluded that man was born to live either in a state of distracting inquietude or of lethargic disgust.” (Pg. 163, Ln. 6) Candide figures out that the life of farmer is more fulfilling to him that everything he had been previously been attempting to pursue, after hearing a farmer speak of how “our labour preserves us from three great evils—weariness, vice, and want” (pg. 166) He realizes that the man is better off than kings. They decided to focus on farming to fulfill their individual needs in life. “"Let us work," said Martin, "without disputing; it is the only way to render life tolerable."(pg. 167)
Another aspect of the “solutions” at the endings of the two stories is the acceptance by the characters of their fate and how they choose to let this affect how the story ends. Orgon and his family have no choice but to accept the fate that Tartuffe has planned for them after they expose him for the hypocrite he is. “You’re the one To leave it, you who play the master here! This house belongs to me, I’ll have you know, And show you plainly it’s no use to turn To these low tricks, to pick a quarrel with me, And that you can’t insult me at your pleasure, For I have wherewith to confound your lies, Avenge offended Heaven, and compel Those to repent who talk to me of leaving.” (pg. 65) Orgon has no control over the situation; he must accept that he has caused this to befall his family. The king offers a path of salvation to the predicament though his good will and power. He saves the family when they have been resigned to expulsion from their home and possessions. Acceptance is very similar in the story of Candide. After many years, Candide accepts that he cannot find anything that truly makes him happy, and that he cannot gain happiness through his own personal endeavors and worldly possessions. Candide realizes that he can fulfill his life through the simple task of development and cultivation of his garden. With hard work and dedication to a new ideal, he is able to focus on self-improvement through his garden. By dedicating himself to the garden, it shows how Candide has decided to give up on trying for other things in life, and chose work to pursue happiness. “The whole little society entered into this laudable design, according to their different abilities. Their little plot of land produced plentiful crops. Cunegonde was, indeed, very ugly, but she became an excellent pastry cook; Paquette worked at embroidery; the old woman looked after the linen. They were all, not excepting Friar Giroflée, of some service or other; for he made a good joiner, and became a very honest man.” (pg. 168) Common tasks offer reprieve and redemption from a life of suffering and sin.
A similarity between Candide and Tartuffe was the unexpected turn of events that halted the plot to conclude the story. Orgon did not suspect that Tartuffe was deceiving him, until it was too late. Orgon felt that Tartuffe was a good, honest, and religious man, and trusted him with many things; including marriage to his daughter, access to his home, and personal documents. Orgon was also not expecting the king to rescue him and arrest Tartuffe instead. The Officer announces to him, “You, sir (to Orgon), recover from your hot alarm. Our prince is not a friend to double dealing, His eyes can read men’s inmost hearts, and all The art of hypocrites cannot deceive him.” (pg. 79) This unexpected turn of events drastically changed the path the story was headed. Within Tartuffe, Orgon was not able to choose the outcome of the story, whereas in Voliere’s Candide, Candide chooses the life of a farmer, although it is still not an expected solution to the storyline. The ending of Candide is unexpected in the sense that after all of his struggles trying to find happiness, he ends up just settling down as a farmer. He spent so many years trying to find and rescue the love of his life, and provide for her, now he realizes she has grown ugly, and his money does not bring him happiness. The life of a farmer is an unexpected choice, but also very fitting, for it shows that he is independent, cultivating new life to gain satisfaction through work, and tangible success in his crops.
The answers to the difficulties offered throughout the characters’ experiences are directly correlated with the conclusion of both stories. In Moliere’s Tartuffe and Voltaire’s Candide, the similar ideas of personal awareness, acceptance of fate, and the unexpected conclusion to both stories are present throughout both literary works, and are necessary to the resolution of the situations existing in both stories.

Work Cited:
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Candide, by Voltaire

Formatting 2009 by Royalty Free Plays
Tartuffe (or The Hypocrite)
by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere

Posted by: M. Rhett Pringle at November 26, 2012 01:08 AM

William Berry
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 Humanistic Traditions
23, November, 2012

Religion of Tartuffe vs. Panglossian philosophy

This comparison/contrast is between Le Tartuffe by Moliere, and Voltaire’s Candide. Both works were written by Frenchmen, the first a play write and comical actor, while Voltaire was of a higher class and was as a result more educated adding more subtleness and wittiness to his creation. Both authors addressed issues related to religion in their works, how its purity and the faithfulness was challenged, its role in society/to the main character, and the struggles of religion/conflict around the main characters. Being that they addressed these same issues, there are bound to be similarities, yet there are some drastic differences.

The purity of religion to the two main characters was different; Voltaire’s Candide was ignorant youth who had not seen much of the world before his journey, while Moliere’s Tartuffe passed himself off as a holy man was anything but one. Throughout his journey, Candide holds on to his naivety, Pangloss instilled in him that this is the possible world, for if it was not why god put them there. Even in the darkest times, Candide attempted to cling to this philosophy, instances of this is when he finds his former master (Voltaire Ch4 pg 7). Candide believes that the woman he loved is dead, all those he cherished dead, and his beloved master deformed, yet still claims that this is the best world. As he journey continues he sees the brutal death of his master (Voltaire Ch6 pg 12), an example of the extremes of religious conflict; the grandeur of El Dorado a place of religious freedom (Voltaire Ch17 pg33). All of these obstacles make it clear that Candide is the journey of a man whose religious concepts are slowly stripped away and rebuilt. While in Tartuffe, Mr. Tartuffe is the guest of Orgon, there is no great journey neither physical or philosophically. Mr. Tartuffe defaces the ideals of holiness, tarnishes its appearance, and lives up to the meaning of his name, hypocrite. He portrays himself as a “holy” man by calling out “sins” such as, who ogles Orgons wife (Moliere pg8), having anger in killing a flea during prayer (Moliere pg8). Yet the entire time there is an adulterous relationship between Elmire and Tartuffe, making the “holy” man not so holy. A similarity in this aspect; both main characters have at least one person who has faith in them. Candide has Cacambo in most of his greatest struggles to help him when challenged. In Tartuffe, Tartuffe has the faith of Orgon, at least at first, and Orgon’s mother Madame Pernelle, who leaves the house of Orgon for how the rest of the house hold treats Tartuffe (Moliere pg2-5).

Another point to be made is the roles of religion in society and how effects the main character. In Candide, Candide finds himself questioning what is right when he is faced with all of these different opinions and actions. The first time he questioned was when he was drafted into the Bulgarian military, he had no freedom and for trying to leave was beaten severely (Voltaire Ch3 pg4-5). Later was the death of his master (Voltaire Ch6 pg12), then finding his love, Candide killing three men, being separated from his love, seeing great grandeur, and seeing great hardship. Candide and Tartuffe both have examples of the misuse of religious power. In Candide’s journey, it leads to warring factions and large death tolls. While in Tartuffe, religions role was not very powerful, it was perceived as a tool, not an object of faith that must be found at all costs, but a power and influence to be used. Tartuffe uses his closeness with Orgon, and the reputation he had built himself to have Orgon to gift him the estate in which Orgon lived (Moliere pg 41-46). This is an example of how religion was used by Tartuffe for his on desires or advancement.

Lastly are the struggles of religion and the conflicts faced. Candide exemplifies this by having Candide travel from a war zone in Paraguay, to the peaceful city of El Dorado. This stark difference between is night and day, the difference between chaos and harmony, shows that peace can be obtained but there was no organized religion. Making it show that it is not beliefs that cause the conflict but the fact the large groups gather creating a faction that wishes to impose its rule upon others, making a “rebellion” that leads to death destruction with nothing to show for it, for there is no true victor. While Tartuffe focuses solely on the misuse and deception related to the power of religion, the true example of this is once again Tartuffe’s attempt to take Orgon’s estate. Moliere was making fun of high society and the schemes within schemes that took place, there was no fight were blood was spilt, instead a battle of wits with the spoils to the victor. With this religious struggle whether physical or mental, Candide and Tartuffe both seek solace in a woman, for the emotional support and desire to beloved.

There are many things that Voltaire’s Candide and Moliere’s Tartuffe differed on and had in common. The main focal points were how the purity of religion was challenged, religion’s roles in society and to the main character, and the struggles and conflict of religion. These outlined how an ignorant youth lost his faith, and how a hypocrite misused a man’s faith for his own needs.

Works Cited
Moliere. Tartuffe. Dagny and John Vickers, 2000. eBook.
Voltaire. Candide. http://manybooks.net/, n.d. eBook.

Posted by: William Berry at November 26, 2012 07:09 AM

Jordan Bailey
Dr. Hobbs
Hon250 CA02 Humanistic Tradition
26 November 2012
The Role of Women
Throughout time, women have played many different roles in society and in the home. The roles of women can be seen evolving through all of history, especially depicted in literature. In Moliere’s Tartuffe and Voltaire’s Candide, the roles of women that are depicted are somewhat similar, but at the same time present very contrasting characters. The women presented in these pieces of work are fundamental to each story in their own way. Some of the women are fundamental characters that inspire all the action in the play, and others are sort of like pawns that allow these actions to be able to take place. In both works, there are few female characters that are introduced that include a daughter, a maid, and an older wiser woman. Although both of these works have these same roles of women in them, the women could not be more different from each other in importance and spirit.
In both Moliere’s Tartuffe and Voltaire’s Candide, a daughter character is introduced. In Tartuffe, the daughter’s name is Mariane. In Candide, the daughter’s name is Cunegonde. Mariane, in Tartuffe, is the typical 17th century obedient daughter who cannot imagine, or figure out how to, disobey her father. When he wants her to marry Tartuffe, she is unable to voice her real opinion for fear of hurting her father. She is not outspoken, nor does she stand up for herself of what she thinks is right. In Act 2 Scene 3, she states forthright, “What can I do? My father is the master.” Cunegonde, in Candide, is the daughter of the Baron with whom Candide resided with at the opening of the play. Cunegonde kisses Candide and is the reason he is thrown out of the house. Her character is not very outspoken throughout the play but later on she does get married to Candide after he kills her two lovers. Both daughters are essential to the plots of these stories because without them there would be no motives for the action in the play. In Candide, the action is because Candide is trying to find Cunegonde because he wants to marry her. In Tartuffe, the action happens because her father wants her to marry Tartuffe and she does not wants to so she devises a plan with a few other people to stop this from happening. The daughters’ roles in this play spark the motion, but they are not exactly key characters themselves, they act as more pawns between other characters in the play.
Each of these works, Tartuffe and Candide, employ the character of a maid within the story. The maid in Candide is called Paquette, however she is not a consequential part of the play other than that she is the maid and she has syphilis, which she gave to Pangloss. The maid, in Tartuffe however, named Dorine, could not be more different than Paquette. Dorine is a robust character who gets the plot rolling throughout the entire play, and she is the one who causes the action in the play, even very early on. In scenes 2 and 3 of the first act, Dorine points out how Tartuffe has clearly deceived Orgon and he is not the pious man that he claims to be when she says, “The fellow knows his dupe, and makes the most on’t, He fools him with a hundred masks of virtue.” Her words during this speech foreshadow the events that take place in which Tartuffe really tries to take advantage of his position. The maid Dorine in this story could be described as strongly opinionated, practical and realistic, as well as productive in setting plans into motion. In Candide, Paquette is still inconsequential to the play and does not reappear until the end when she reunites with Pangloss to live in Candide’s group of gardeners. She does not carry a loud role in the play, unlike Dorine. Dorine is a very confident, self-assured character but her actions are quite audacious in many of the things she does. For example, in Act 2 Scenes 1 and 2, Dorine laughs right in Orgon’s face when he tells her that the rumor about the marriage between Mariane and Tartuffe is actually going to happen. It would have been very unusual for a servant to explicitly laugh at her Master right in front of his face, but Dorine does just that. She is a very strong character and she makes that known throughout the play. In Act 2 Scenes 3 and 4, she proposes to take action to stop the wedding. While both stories employ the use of a maid in their stories to help move the plot along, the actual characters could not be more different.
Finally, both stories have older female characters in them. In Candide, this character is namely just the old woman. The older women in Tartuffe are Madame Pernell who is Orgon’s mother, and Elmire who is his wife. In Chapters 7 and 8 of Voltaire’s Candide, we meet the old woman who takes care of Candide by cleaning, clothing, and feeding him. She begins to tell him about all of the hardships she has faced throughout her life, and in doing this we see that during the time women were not treated very well, they were a disposable piece of the households. Elmire and Madame Pernell, as well as the old woman, are anything but dispensable however. Elmire plays the role of the dutiful, faithful housewife who does not wish to disturb her husband. She is also, however, the other character who creates action in the play and moves the story along. Madame Pernell is a loud, boisterous and domineering character who is blinded by the falseness of Tartuffe but refuses to use any common sense or reason to comprehend that he is a false person. She appears at the beginning and the end of the play and she creates tension between herself and the other characters because she will not listen to them when they try to speak ill of Tartuffe in order to warn their family, but she will not have it. Elmire understand the true nature of Tartuffe and her and Dorine concoct a plan to expose Taruffe. Elmire is sneaky and throughout the story she hides her brother and Orgon (separately) while she speaks with Tartuffe and he confesses his love for her both times and he speaks ill of Orgon and that is how Tartuffe is finally discovered. If Elmire would not have done this, Orgon would have continued to be duped by Tartuffe, so for this Elmire is an extremely crucial character. The old woman in Candide is also very important, not only does she tell her story but she acts as kind of a protective figure when she clothes and feeds him, but she is also a guide when she leads him to Cunegonde. She shows much strength, not only as a woman in this story, but as any person who has gone through the hardships she had to endure. It speaks to the nature of the strong hearted, who never let anything keep them down when things are hard.
While the roles of women in these stories may not present the traditional roles of women throughout time, they do present their own uniqueness which makes these stories stand out. Not every woman mentioned in Moliere’s Tartuffe or Voltaire’s Candide were the main protagonists of the play, but some of them were a large part of the story without which, the plot could not have unraveled the way that it was supposed to. While each of these works included a daughter, a maid, and older women in the stories, the individual characters differed greatly between the stories. But, although these women were different, they did share some things that proved to be key elements to the stories and the women proved to be an important part of these plots.

Posted by: Jordan Bailey at November 26, 2012 11:52 AM

Zach Brasseur
Dr. Lee Hobbs
Hon 250
26 November 2012

Comparing Reasonable Characters in Tartuffe and Candide

Candide, the novella by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire and the play Tartuffe by Humanist playwright Molière are both stories in which the overriding theme is reason versus emotion. In Tartuffe the primary voice of reason is Orgon’s brother-in-law Cléante who throughout the play tries to convince Orgon that Tartuffe is a hypocrite and not someone to be trusted. He also represents a “middle way”, a balance between reason and emotion. But Candide on the other hand has few truly reasonable characters. Some are more reasonable than others, such as the old woman, Cacambo, and Martin, but they each have distinct characteristics that make them less powerful voices of reason than Cléante, especially since there is a lack of a middle way. Together, these three characters act as a balance to Candide’s overly optimistic philosophy much in the same Cléante acts as a balance by himself for the other characters in Tartuffe.

The old woman who saves Candide from the Inquisitors is a wise person who guides Candide and Cunégonde and gives them advice for their journeys. The reader hears her story when Cunégonde is complaining about how terrible her life is and the old woman explains how much worse her life could be. She tells them “I’ve had experience, I’ve seen the world” (39); as much education as Candide and Cunégonde have had, there are some things that can only be learned through experience. She is by far the most reasonable and most wise character in the entire story. However, she comes across as all-knowing, when really she only knows what she has experienced. Cléante is much more humble when he says “I don’t pretend to be a sage/Nor have I all the wisdom of the age” (I. v. pg. 28). He acknowledges that he does not have all the answers but knows truth when he sees it.

An almost-reasonable character that plays an important role in Candide is Cacambo, Candide’s valet and companion. He has an optimistic worldview, but unlike his master he has actually seen and experienced new and unfamiliar things. He is similar to Orgon in Tartuffe in that he is somewhat gullible, easily impressed by the Jesuits of whom he says he has “never seen as close to God” (44) despite their exploitation of native peoples and so forth. He is very open minded as evidenced by his reaction to the two girls’ relationships with the monkeys in Paraguay and he is called “sensible Cacambo” (125) at the end of the novella. The big difference between Cacambo and Cléante however is Cléante’s ability to spot hypocrisy. While Cacambo is in love with the Jesuits despite their failure to live up to Gospel ideals, Cléante despises Tartuffe’s false piety and all “calculating souls who offer prayers/Not to their Maker, but as public wares” (I. v. pg. 28). Cacambo is duped by the Jesuits and allows emotion to overtake reason, but Cléante who is somewhat religious, sees through the lies and finds the balance between reason and emotion.

Martin is the pessimistic foil to Candide’s optimism. In his opinion there is little to no good in the world. Like the old woman and Cacambo he has travelled and seen the world but rather than leaving a positive impression on him, he now believes that “nothing seems extraordinary” (79); he has become cynical, apathetic, and bored. For Martin, there is no emotion, only reason and the inability to see anything good. He also believes that humans are incapable of change, noting that “hawks have always stayed the same” (80), therefore it is unlikely that man will change his violent ways. This is very different from Cléante’s worldview. He admires those faithful and pious who practice their faith for righteous reasons and whose only desire is to “lead a good life” and “show, by deeds, how Christians should behave” (I. v. pg. 29). Cléante does not share Martin’s belief that man is irreparably corrupt.

There is a great deal of conflict between emotion and reason in both stories. Ultimately the primary voice of reason in Tartuffe is by far more reasonable than any of the “reasonable” characters in Candide. The old woman is experienced and offers sound advice but can’t see anything other than her own experiences. Cacambo has also travelled and seen many things but is somewhat naïve and allows himself to be duped by the Jesuits. Martin is too extreme on the pessimistic side to be considered reasonable. But, all three characters are important for the development of Candide’s character and philosophy and help him to see things from a different point of view that he would not have seen from Pangloss. In the same way Cléante helps Orgon and eventually Madame Pernelle see Tartuffe for the scoundrel he really is.

Posted by: Zach Brasseur at November 26, 2012 11:58 AM

Anna McEntee
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 CA02
November 26, 2012
The Ideas of Evil Presented in Tartuffe and Candide
The two works of literature, Candide by Voltaire and Tartuffe by Molière, share parallels in how the ideas of evil in their stories are presented, though the ideas themselves are far from parallel to each other. In the way these ideas are presented to the reader, the hero takes on his beliefs from the influence of a mentor of sorts. The heroes do not have their own ideas, and in both instances, rely fully on their “mentors” for spiritual advice. These two ideas also happen to be extreme beliefs on the concept of evil, implying in Candide that evil does not exist, and in Tartuffe that evil is everywhere and good is difficult to be found in such a sinful world. However, even though these important characters play a large role in what the heroes believe to be true in the beginning of the story, eventually, each hero has an epiphany of sorts, and develops the beginnings of their own beliefs based on their own experience, knowledge and understanding.
Orgon and Candide, the heroes from Tartuffe and Candide, have mentors at the beginnings of each of their prospective stories. These “mentors” provide spiritual advice and “wisdom” to Candide and Orgon in their daily lives and are the source of the beliefs they hold personally. For example, in Voltaire’s work, Candide, Candide’s mentor Pangloss, convinces him that God created the world the way it is, and that everything that happens on Earth is done according to his plan. Pangloss emphasizes this when Candide finds him sick with syphilis on the side of the road. “It was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds;” (Voltaire, Pg. 15). Pangloss brushes off the “evils” of his illness as something that God obviously has planned for him, and therefore cannot be evil. Candide, relying so heavily on the teachings of Pangloss, takes him at his word, and the pair changes the subject from Pangloss’ illness. The story follows similarly in Molière’s Tartuffe. Orgon takes all of his religious and spiritual advice from his “mentor” Tartuffe, who plays himself off to be a humble man, a sinner, in order to in turn receive praise from Orgon. “Yes, brother, I am wicked, I am guilty, a miserable sinner, steeped in evil, the greatest criminal that ever lived;” (Molière, Act III Scene VI). Tartuffe claims that no man, not even himself can escape sin, and because he includes himself in that number, he earns Orgon’s unwavering allegiance.
Because of this allegiance on both parts, Candide and Orgon make it an easy task for Pangloss and Tartuffe to mold the minds of their pupils to their liking. In Candide, Pangloss teaches Candide that they live in the best of all possible worlds and there is no such thing as evil, because everything is according to God’s plan. “‘For,’" said he, ‘all that is is for the best. If there is a volcano at Lisbon it cannot be elsewhere. It is impossible that things should be other than they are; for everything is right;’" (Voltaire, Pg. 21). Pangloss decides that the tempest they face is good because it comes from God, and Candide, being Pangloss’ loyal follower, agrees wholeheartedly. The allegiance applies in Tartuffe, but to a different belief. Tartuffe uses his “humble nature” to earn Orgon’s allegiance, and when Orgon disowns his son, Tartuffe pretends to take the blame for the break in the family, saying he is a sinner as all men are. “The mere thought of such ingratitude makes my soul suffer torture, bitterly . . .my horror at it. . . ah! my heart's so full I cannot speak. . . I think I'll die of it;” (Molière, Act III Scene VII). This allegiance and belief on Candide and Orgon’s parts does not last very long however.
As the stories go on, Candide and Orgon grow in their own beliefs and begin to develop their own ways of thinking. By the end of Candide, Candide has experienced enough of the world to create his own beliefs, separate from Pangloss. He no longer needs a mentor to tell him what to believe. “‘All that is very well,’ answered Candide, ‘but let us cultivate our garden;’" (Voltaire, Pg. 169). In the close of the novelette, Candide brushes off Pangloss’ comments and advice and goes his own way. This sort of epiphany happens differently for Orgon, as he finally sees Tartuffe for the hypocrite that he is. Orgon is forced to find his own way when he abruptly learns of Tartuffe’s true self. “I doubted long enough if this was earnest, expecting all the time the tone would change; but now the proof's been carried far enough; I'm satisfied, and ask no more, for my part;” (Molière, Act IV Scene VII).
The ideas of evil in the works of Molière and Voltaire change throughout each of the stories, but develop and show the humanistic view of the time in each of the conclusions that belief is dependent on the individual. Though different in either work, both of the works show the different religious beliefs of the time, and how they changed and developed with the humanistic era. The two writers show in their literary works that no matter what the religion, each individuals beliefs depend on the experiences and knowledge they gain from their own life journeys.

Poquelin, Jean-Baptiste (Moliere). Tartuffe, or, The Imposter. Trans. Curtis Hidden Page. Produced by Dagny and John Vickers. January 2000. EBook #2027. Project Gutenberg. Web. 1 October 2012 .

Voltaire, . Candide. New York: BONI AND LIVERIGHT, INC., 1918.http://www.gutenberg.org. 23 Nov. 2012 .

Posted by: Anna McEntee at November 26, 2012 02:31 PM

William Berry
B. Lee Hobbs
HON 250 Humanistic Traditions CA02
7 December 2012
Academic or Intellectual
The two works to question are Faust by Goethe and Candide by Voltaire. There are vast differences between the two works, yet there are some startling similarities. The learning experience along the journey, the effect of education on the main character, and the characters’ perspective of what is good are what showcases the intellectual capacity for the characters and how education made them grow or pushed them down the path they trod.
Both works center on a journey. Candide is an epic journey covering countless miles, as well as Candide’s journey to find himself. Faust is a testimony of a man falling down a path of darkness. Faust’s downward spiral begins when he forsakes God and embraces Satan in hopes of gaining knowledge. However, he learns of woe and suffering instead of finding the answers he desired. Faust’s quest leads to darkness with very few rewards: youth, a woman to love, and great loss (Goethe 54-101). Candide began his journey when he was cast out from his home, and faced many hardships such as being forced into the Bulgarian military, surviving a terrifying earthquake, and being separated from the woman he loves (Voltaire 4-26).Though both Faust and Candide led painful existences, their pain was lessened by traveling with companions. Faust has Mephistopheles, a demon from hell who was Faust’s reward for relinquishing his soul to Satan: “Here, an unwearied slave, I'll wear thy tether/ And to thine every nod obedient be: / When There again we come together, / Then shalt thou do the same for me” (Goethe 40). Candide has the companions Pangloss, Cunegund, the old woman, Cacambo, and Martin. Both titled characters would have been lost were it not for their companions. They guided them through tough times, advised them, and made their journeys possible.
Education has an effect on everyone. It shapes and molds personality, sense of morality, and views of the world. Faust’s quest for knowledge led him to his fate. He was never satisfied in what he had learned. “I've studied now Philosophy And Jurisprudence, Medicine,— And even, alas! Theology” (Goethe 19), Faust had studied all forms of knowledge known to man and yet did not know the answers for everything in the universe. His downward spiral came from him seeking “higher” education, to be all knowing, almost god like. Unlike Faust, Candide was not a dedicated scholar. He was taught philosophy by his mentor Pangloss, whose views of everything were simply "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end” (Voltaire 2). This gave Candide innocence that was constantly challenged throughout his epic travels. Candide was exposed to various beliefs, some that lived in harmony, yet many led to large battles and death. This harshness of the world challenged Candide to find himself, to find what it is that he believed to be the truth. Candide and Faust both sought knowledge, to find an exact answer to confirm their reasoning and why they were there.
A large point of contention between to what the main characters view as good. Once again Faust’s desires to find answers that explain the world come into play. Faust is willing to sell his soul for the power to understand the universe, to have the fabled power to wield at his command. This is what led Faust to the witches’ kitchen, and to drink the elixir for youth (Goethe 58). This is contrasted by Candide’s compassion at the horror he sees before his eyes. Candide focuses on an answer to why things must be this way besides the teaching of Panglossian philosophy, which is simply that it is the best of all possible worlds thus everything is for the best. Seeing violence between factions compare the peaceful harmony of El Dorado truly startles Candide.
”Gentlemen, I plainly perceive you are strangers, and such we are not accustomed to charge; pardon us, therefore, for laughing when you offered us the common pebbles of our highways for payment of your reckoning. To be sure, you have none of the coin of this kingdom; but there is no necessity of having any money at all to dine in this house… My friends, we are all of us priests; the King and all the heads of families sing solemn hymns of thanksgiving every morning, accompanied by five or six thousand musician" (Voltaire 37-38).
This exemplifies Candide’s astonishment: a place where all views were accepted and equal and all men were treated as equals compared to the greed of Europe where slaves lost limbs working in sugarcane fields (Voltaire 41-42). However, both Candide and Faust are forced to reevaluate what they believed they want up seeing atrocious acts, death, cruelty, but the most disheartening was the losses of the ones they loved. These acts make them discontent with what they thought was right, for Candide that it is the best of all possible worlds, and for Faust that the understanding all the world was the most important thing in his life.
Faust and Candide both exemplify academic and intellectual influences. What sets them apart is that the way in which they learned and why they wished to do so was drastically different. Candide lost himself and was searching to make himself whole. Faust sought knowledge of all that existed, power not known to man, and he suffered for it in the end with the loss of his love, tearing him asunder.

Works Cited
Goethe, Johann von. Faust. N.p, n.d. Project Gutenberg. Web. 26 Nov 2012.
Voltaire. Candide. N.p, n.d. Project Gutenberg. Web. 30 Oct 2012.

Posted by: William Berry at December 7, 2012 07:38 AM

Sarah Nobles
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
7 December 2012

The Mockery of Religion: A Comparison Between Candide and Faust

The Humanistic time period is known for its writings that constantly ridicule religion and point out faults and fallacies that come with belief. In Voltaire’s Candide and Goethe’s Faust, there are several instances in which religion is mocked, whether it be the characters manipulating religion for their own satisfaction, the contradicting idea that true happiness comes from satisfaction, or the consistent theme of corrupt religious leaders. In both stories, religion is one of the largest themes that is regularly seen throughout the play in a humanistic fashion.

In Voltaire’s Candide, the main character Candide witnesses a multitude of horrific actions, such as religious beings using their beliefs and religion to extract what they wanted or excuse their own actions. During this time period, it was common for heretics to be burned alive for their beliefs, though they were not unlike from the accusers. Pangloss, a religious man with a steadfast belief in the optimist teachings, excuses his own sexual exploits with a prostitute resulting in syphilis by claiming that God wanted it this way, that this was all in his plan (explained on page 15-16). Candide also describes instances of priests extorting sexual favors from prostitutes and young females for their own satisfaction. In Faust, Faust is a steadfastly religious man, yet when he has become bored, having mastered all academia, he dabbles in the Devil’s work (alchemy), which Wagner points out on page 27, asking, “Ah, when one studies thus, a prisoned creature, that scarce the world on holidays can see,—Scarce through a glass, by rare occasion, how shall one lead it by persuasion?” Wagner asks how he was persuaded into the dark arts, which Faust replies that he wouldn’t understand, “You’ll ne’er attain it, save you know the feeling,” (page 28). He then goes on to say that God would’ve wanted him to continue his knowledge.

Many religious beings would ascertain that in order to achieve happiness, true happiness, it would come from being the purest, most dedicated believer, etc. However, both plays contradict this typical, common idea, constituting that true happiness comes from satisfaction in hard work. In Candide, the play comes to a close with Candide’s reply, "All that is very well . . . but let us cultivate our garden,” (page 169, line 1). As Pangloss argues that optimism is still valid because everything has resulted in the best of all possible worlds; if all had not occurred, then he would “not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio-nuts,” (page 168, line 8). In the case of Faust, Faust teaches that the existential purpose in human existence is to put forth the most positive, purposeful, untiring effort in whatever is done. Goethe also explains that while reaching for the stars, the limitations of human beings must be remembered, something that is not taught by the religious leaders of the time.

The last and foremost indication that these texts ridicule religion is the implications that religious leaders are corrupt. Throughout Candide, there are several religious leaders that do not practice what they teach. Candide comes across the daughter of the Pope, a man that as a Catholic priest should have been celibate. There was a Catholic Inquisitor who keeps a mistress hypocritically, a Franciscan friar is a jewel thief despite the poverty that should be taken by the Franciscan order, and they meet a Jesuit colonel with homosexual tendencies. During this time, there are several religious leaders that will turn violent, creating wars with religious oppression all against those who disagree on even the smallest of theological matters. In Faust, the two greatest religious leaders, God and the Devil (Mephistopheles), are found making a bet, a wager on the life of one man for their pure enjoyment. Is making bets in the Bible? Should such behavior be allowed?

The Humanistic tradition in literature contains a constant theme of corrupt religion and religion used in an unethical, dishonest way that is frowned upon in the teachings that they put forth. These religious leaders that teach not to steal, to stray away, not to manipulate, do such in a hypocritical manner. Both Candide and Faust accurately portray and ridicule the hypocritical nature of religion during their time, exemplifying the humanistic beliefs.


Annotated Bibliography
Voltaire. Candide. New York: BONI AND LIVERIGHT, INC., 1918. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19942/19942-h/19942-h.htm. 29 Nov. 2012. Candide is the story of the young Candide, a man lives a sheltered life taught by Pangloss that optimism is the only way of thinking. They go through an adventure with several tragedies, including many natural disasters, and Pangloss insists that this is still the “best of all possible worlds.” Throughout the story, we watch as Candide radically transforms his views to one of almost rejecting optimism. This text is an extremely good translation of Voltaire’s original publication that will heavily aid in my paper.

Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann. Faust. A Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication. Translated into English, in the original metres, by Bayard Taylor. http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/797/605679/Goethe-Faust-III.pdf. 29 Nov. 2012. Faust is based on a classic German legend of a scholar making a deal with the Devil (with Mephistopheles in his place) after becoming unsatisfied with his life. He agrees to sell his soul for years of magic powers. Faust uses Mephistopheles in a myriad of ways, having him aid Faust in seducing the young, naïve Gretchen. In the end, Faust is dragged off to Hell by the Devil. This text will be useful as it is a translation of Goethe’s original story and will aid me in making my connections the ridiculing of religion in Candide and Faust.

Posted by: Sarah Nobles at December 7, 2012 10:50 AM

Allison Sheftall
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
Dr. Hobbs
5 November 2013

Question: From what disease is Pangloss suffering? From whom did he contract this illness?

Answer: Pangloss is suffering from what they call "the pox." (pg 10) He contracted this illness from Paqueette, a "pretty attendant [from their] august Baroness." (pg 9)

Question: How does Pangloss explain the purpose of the Bay of Lisbon?

Answer: Pangloss explains that the Bay of Lisbon was created for the "Anabaptist to be drown in" (pg 12)

Question: What is Auto-de-fe?

Answer: Auto-de-fe is a ritual where heretics would get punished. It took place during the Spanish Inquisiton decided the punishment.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at November 5, 2013 10:51 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 November 2013

Question: Where did Candide grow up and why was he given the name Candide?

Answer: Candide grew up in Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in a German province. The province was Westphalia. He was given the nickname Candide because he is not corrupted and he is fair.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at November 6, 2013 10:22 AM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 November 2013

Question: How does James die? Why is this ironic?

Answer: James dies by saving a sailor after the sailor almost falls overboard. It is ironic because the sailor does not try to save James when he falls overboard as a result of saving the sailor. "... and by this effort is flung headfirst into the sea in full view of the sailor, who lets him perish without even deigning to look at him" (Voltaire 12).

Posted by: Joe Radigan at November 6, 2013 10:29 AM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 November 2013

Question: Why is Pangloss hanged? Is he guilty?

Answer: Pangloss is hanged because he speaks out and says that the earthquake is for the best. He is guilty because he does say this and the town was destroyed because of the earthquake. There is not a good reason for Pangloss to say it was a good thing.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at November 6, 2013 10:35 AM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 November 2013

Question: Why is Candide get kicked out of the castle?

Answer: Candide is banished from the castle because he and Cunegonde, the baron’s daughter, kissed.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at November 6, 2013 02:34 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 November 2013

Question: What is Pangloss’ argument to prove the disease is necessary and right? According to him, what would we not have if we didn’t have syphilis?

Answer: Pangloss believes that syphilis was brought to the New World by a man who traveled with Columbus. The infection was then spread and brought back to Europe, along with many other New World things and ideas. Pangloss is thankful for syphilis because it gave him New World wonders such as chocolate.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at November 6, 2013 02:39 PM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
6 November 2013

Question: What are the various reactions to the earthquake?

Answer: The sailor who arrives in Lisbon with Candide finds money, gets drunk, and buys sex. Candide and Pangloss try to help and heal the people who were hurt by the earthquake. Pangloss tells one of the injured people that the earthquake may be for the best. Pangloss is hung the next day for heresy.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at November 6, 2013 02:48 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Traditions
12 November 2013

Candide Ch. 1-7
2. Q: how is the Baron characterized in the opening chapters? What kind of guy is he?
A: in the opening chapters the Baron is described as powerful and wealthy numerous times. “My lord, the Baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia” (Voltaire 1). He is a wealthy man who is widely respected by all and unanimously referred to as “My Lord.”

8. Q: After Candide tries to go AWOL, how do his officers respond when Candide argues in favor of free will and choice?
A: After Candide’s “attempted escape” his officers scoff at his argument for free will and force him to choose the lesser of two evils for his punishment: running the gauntlet or execution in the form of twelve lead bullets to the dome. “…he had to make a choice… he decided to run the gauntlet thirty-six times; he did it twice” (Voltaire 4).

11. Q: In the next-to-last paragraph of this chapter, right after Candide reasserts Pangloss’ adage about the world being “all for the best,” who does he encounter?
A: Candide encounters a compassionate Anabaptist named Jacques who runs a rug factory.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at November 12, 2013 07:51 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Traditions
12 November 2013

Candide Ch. 21-30
7. Q: Why is Candide inconsolably depressed upon their arrival in Venice? (Would one expect consolation out of Martin?)
A: Candide is depressed during his arrival to Venice because he fails to discover Cunėgonde and Cacambo. It’s difficult to expect consolation and empathy from Martin because Candide did indeed foolishly entrust his fortunes in a valet. Also, it is against Martin’s belief system to offer up compassion in a negative situation when one should have already expected a glum outcome.

8. Q: what do we learn from the stories of Paquette (on the life of a prostitute) and Friar/Brother Girofleė (on religious faith)?
A: from Paquette we learn about her sexual exploitation. All of the men Paquette encountered in her story could have prevented her from living the life of a prostitute if they would have genuinely helped her rather than take their turn sexually abusing her. From Friar/Brother Girofleė we learn about grudges, and how “petty” the monastery can be.

10. Q: … How do [Pococurante and the Old Turk] exhibit different sorts of indifference, with radically different sorts of implications for happiness? How is one wise, the other foolish?
A: the Old Turk has few possessions, however he is happy because he does not concern himself with what he lacks, and rather he focuses on cultivating his blessings. Count Pococurante has bountiful, grand possessions; however he cannot find joy or pleasure in what he has. The Old Turk is wise because he works for his happiness while Pococurante is foolish because he is unhappy and does not seek happiness, he just complains about what is in his control.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at November 12, 2013 08:07 PM

Allison Sheftall
HON 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
Dr. Hobbs
18 November 2013

Question: How does the theme of indifference arise in the picture the Dervish conveys through his little capsule parable of "his highness" (the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire) and the mice on board the ship?

Answer: In the picture the Dervish conveys through his little capsule parable of "his highness:and the mice on board the ship the theme of indifference arises by the Dervish not caring about anything that is on the ship. Candide points out all these glamorous objects on the ship just to have the praise shot down by the Dervish. He doesn't enjoy any of the objects and could care less if they were in his possession or not.

Question: What do Candide and Martin learn at the dinner with the 6 strangers at the public inn in Venice? Who turns up, in what circumstances? What is familiar, in the tale we've become acquainted with, about the kind of story behind this surprise reappearance?

Answer: Candide and Martin learn that the 6 strangers they are eating dinner with are all kings that have been overthrown. Cacambo turns up because he is the slave of one of the overthrown kings. The kind of story that is behind these surprise reappearances is the person was captured somehow and sold into slavery, escaped, recaptured and sold back into slavery and now they are here. They also always know where Cunegonde is located.

Question: What are the themes of Pangloss' story? What are we to think of the explanation he gives of his refusal to recant?

Answer: Some themes of Pangloss' story are failure to properly complete a task, the executioner didn't complete his task of executing Pangloss, because of that failure the surgeon was unable to complete his autopsy since Pangloss wasn't dead. Pangloss' refusal to recant makes us think that he no longer believes what he is saying to be true but since he doesn't want to be a hypocrite he is going to continue to preach his opinion that all is for the very best.

Posted by: Allison Sheftall at November 18, 2013 02:45 PM

Glen Pringle
HON250
11/18/13
Dr. Hobbes

Q: How does the old woman lose her buttock?

A: It is eaten by the guards of the Sultan in order to provide nourishment to them during their battle against the Russians.

Q: What is Martin’s view of the sufferings of the 6? Who has the most convincing case – Martin or Candide?

A: Martain says that the sufferings of the 6 (deposed kings) are nothing to shed tears over, opposing Candide’s expression of sympathy. I agree with Martin for this argument, for the strangers still have valets and slaves for use, making them far more wealthy than both men. One of them even owns Cacambo.

Q: In chapter 22 Martin and Candide encounter a scholar at the dinner hosted by the Marchiness of Parolignac. What is Voltaire up to in designing this conversation?

A: Voltaire chooses to insert the scholar into Candide simply because he desires a mouthpiece for his own ends. He exists so that Voltaire may put his thoughts and feelings into the play without disrupting the overall flow and pace of it.

Posted by: Glen Pringle at November 18, 2013 03:09 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
19 November 2013

Question: What does the cultivation of Candide's garden symbolize? What message is Voltaire sending to the reader?

Answer: The cultivation of the garden represents the end of his suffering. All though they are doing hard yet simple work, they are now content. It also represents the end of his troubles. Candide is rewarded for his work for the garden with fresh vegetables. This is one of the first times it has happened. The cultivation of the garden also represents a new beginning for Candide. Just like the soil being turned over and new life being created, Candide is starting anew.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at November 19, 2013 05:22 PM

Joe Radigan
Dr. Hobbs
Honors 250 Humanistic Tradition CA02
19 November 2013

Question: What does the cultivation of Candide's garden symbolize? What message is Voltaire sending to the reader?

Answer: The cultivation of the garden represents the end of his suffering. All though they are doing hard yet simple work, they are now content. It also represents the end of his troubles. Candide is rewarded for his work for the garden with fresh vegetables. This is one of the first times it has happened. The cultivation of the garden also represents a new beginning for Candide. Just like the soil being turned over and new life being created, Candide is starting anew.

Posted by: Joe Radigan at November 19, 2013 05:22 PM

Shayvonne “Shay” Renaud
Dr. Hobbs
Hon 250 CA02 Humanistic Traditions
19 November 2013
Group 4 Discussion Question

9. Q: Martin claims that people “live either in convulsions of misery or in the lethargy of boredom.” Do the events of the novel support that statement? Is one of the two options worse than the other? If what Martin says is true, what does it imply about the value of social change and political activism? Discuss Martin’s philosophical standpoint. Is he realistic, or overly pessimistic? Does Voltaire agree with Martin’s outlook on the world? Why or why not?
A: The events of the novel support Martin’s claim that people either live in misery or boredom. Candide and Pangloss, two virtually optimistic characters, were dealt considerably miserable hands by fate. Candide spends an extensive amount of the novel searching for happiness in a bleak situation; he chases a love that seems beyond his grasp, and when he finally reaches her, time and hardship have rendered her unrecognizable. Pangloss whose philosophy was based on “optimism” ended up a captive! Misery however is worse than boredom because boredom is relatively easy to overcome; while misery is something that several characters had to battle long term. An example is Candide. Candide was in a miserable situation until the very end of the novel when he took matters into his own hands and decided to change his perspective rather than the actual situation. Martin’s philosophical standpoint could have been “rational” if that was Voltaire’s intention. However it was not, Voltaire used Martin’s character philosophy as a dramatization to prove a point. Similar to Pangloss’ exaggerated optimism, Martin presents a dramatically pessimistic point of view, in other words Voltaire does not share Martin’s ideology.

Posted by: Shayvonne "Shay" Renaud at November 20, 2013 01:02 AM

Jennifer Doyle
Dr. Hobbs
HON250 The Humanistic Tradition CA02
20 November 2013

Question: Why do many of the characters, including Miss Clungonde and Pangloss, presumably die and then reappear? Is there significance to their being "brought back to life"? Why is the Anabaptist James the only major character that dies and does not reappear?

Answer: Many of the characters die and then reappear in order to have them face a hardship and nearly lose their life, and then possibly change their perspective of the world. Voltaire satirizes the optimism of the story but testing the character's faith in times of trouble. In the end Pangloss says concerning himself, "he had always suffered horribly, but as he had once asserted that everything went wonderfully well, he asserted it still, though he no longer believed it" (Voltaire 85). The Anabaptist James didn't reappear after his death because he was a pessimist before he died so, he would remain such.

Posted by: Jennifer Doyle at November 20, 2013 02:06 PM

Jacob Gates
Dr. Hobbs
HON 250 CA02 The Humanistic Tradition
20 November 2013

Question: “What does Voltaire think about European colonization of the Americas? Discuss the significance of the characters of Cacambo and of Candide’s encounter with the slave.”

Answer: Voltaire believed colonization of the Americas to be a useless or even harmful endeavor, in fact one famous quotation of Voltaire is him calling Canada a “A few acres of snow.” It has been interpreted that Pangloss’ illness that he contracted from “an island in the Americas” is indicative of what he actually believed, that is, colonization is a practice that will contaminate European life and eventually lead to its downfall. This is ironic considering many scholars would say that it was Europe who contaminated the Americas, not vice versa.
Cacambo is important because he represents a truly human character, one who refuses philosophical ramblings and instead focuses on interactions with other people. The slave is important because it leads to a tipping point for Candide who recognizes that there is suffering in the world and rejects Pangloss’ teachings.

Posted by: Jacob Gates at November 20, 2013 03:23 PM

-----------------


*NOTE* 26 November 2013. The deadline for your HOMEWORK QUESTIONS has now passed. Any student posts appearing below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.


~ Dr. Hobbs


-----------------

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at November 26, 2013 03:13 PM

Google
My Blog

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved. 2006.