Candide is a humorous, far-fetched tale by Voltaire satirizing the optimism accepted by the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide looks for true happiness, and his ultimate acceptance of life's disappointments. He grew up in the Castle of Westphalia and was taught by the greatest philosopher of the province and the whole world, Dr. Pangloss.
Dr. Pangloss taught Candide that everything that happens is for the best. Candide is exiled from the castle because of his love for the Baron's daughter, Cunegonde. He then sets out to different places in the hope of finding her and achieving total happiness. Candide knew thought he knew that everything happened for the best because the greatest philosopher taught him that, but everyone around him did not accept that theory.
Voltaire refused to believe that what happens is always for the best. Voltaire shows the primary concerns during the period of Enlightenment, but also criticizes certain aspects of the movement. He attacks the idea that good prevails over evil because he believes that human beings perpetrate evil. He laughs at Candide for believing all the corruption that is occurring and religious intolerance. Eldorado a town worshipped by one god, and 'all were priests' was not explainable to Candide. The townspeople did not pray because they had all they wanted, but they did sing hymns of thanks.
Candide learned that neither law courts nor prisons were needed for these happy, law-abiding people. He was surprised that a society lived by worshipping one god, and everyone abide by the laws. The Eldorado people related to God just by being thankful for everything that they had. A King or leader did not dictate that they must follow a certain religion, or pray to God, but yet they still believed in God.
For example, the states of the Holy Roman Empire were always being told by Kings, and leaders which religion they must practice, and tried to ban different religions that they didn't believe in. Candide was amazed by how generous people were to invite them into there house to eat, and took care of Cac ambo, and him. To Voltaire this was an ideal world, but it seemed as if it was to perfect and he knew that it could never exist. After Candide and Pangloss reunited, and traveled to Lisbon a earthquake occurred. The wise men of the country discovered a way of preventing another quake to occur.
The auto-da-fe was the act of faith that Candide thought would stop another earthquake. Voltaire saw this auto-da-fe as a joke. We all know that an earthquake comes from mother nature. There is no way of stopping any type of storm from an act of faith.
Pangloss explained that everyone else died during the earthquake because a Providence had arranged so that the Anabaptist would not survive. Candide did not understand why someone would want to kill the Anabaptist.