Voltaire’s Candide

I read Voltaire’s Candide on the way up north at the start of March Break. I was a little confused by it – the characters seemed flat, and the action was fast and improbable. I looked up an interpretation of it, which seemed to make sense; the characters are meant to represent exaggerated stereotypes. The philosopher Pangloss believes in a simplified Enlightenment philosophy that says that the world, everything in it, and everything that happens is “the best possible”, and the unrelenting events in the novel are meant to show the uselessness of Pangloss’s beliefs.

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