Candide Voltaire's Candide is a novel which contains enlightmenet and at the same time is also exaggerated. Voltaire offers disguised by jokes and sarc isam, and the story itself presents a distinctive outlook on life in the 1700's. The crucial contrast in the story deals with irrational ideas as taught to Candide about being optimistic, versus reality as viewed by the rest of the world. The main theme that I got out of reading Candide is optimism.

Out of every unfortunate situation in the story, Candide, the main character, has been advised by his philosopher-teacher that everything in the world happens for the better, because 'Private misfortunes contribute to the general good, so that the more private misfortunes there are, the more we find that all is well'. As Candide grows up whenever something unfortunate happens Pangloss would turn the situation around, bringing out the good in it. Candide learns that optimism is 'The passion for maintaining that all is right when all goes wrong '. Candide also believes that he could make the world a better place by spreading his theories on optimism. One could say that Pangloss is an irrational figure, and Voltaire tries to expose how incomprehensible his beliefs are which do not measure up to reality.

It is possible, however, that all along, deep down inside, Candide doubted the philosophies of his teacher because of his exposure to immorality in the real world. For example, Candide witnessed the public hanging of two Portuguese Jews simply because they refused to eat bacon for dinner. It was occurrences like these which demonstrated the inhumanity that one person can do to another, leading Candide to disbelieve Pangloss' philosophies. Cunegonde, the object of Candide's affections, was thought dead by Candide but she had really been raped and sold into slavery. Pangloss was also presumed dead but he reappeared in Candide's life. Although it is good that these people are still alive it goes against Pangloss' optimistic theory.

This book was interesting and a wild journey to read. I don't think I'll ever understand all of Voltaires comedy. After reading Candide I realize how witty and fearless Volatile must have been to write such a put down to so many different organizations.