1 / 19

Candide by Voltaire

Candide by Voltaire. NOTES. Time Period. Enlightenment—18 th century France and England A.k.a. the Age of Reason Climate of Inquiry. Lessoning Control of the Church. The Protestant Reformation The Printing Press Scientific Developments The New World (America!).

Télécharger la présentation

Candide by Voltaire

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author. Content is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only. Download presentation by click this link. While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server. During download, if you can't get a presentation, the file might be deleted by the publisher.


Presentation Transcript

  1. Candide by Voltaire NOTES

  2. Time Period • Enlightenment—18th century France and England • A.k.a. the Age of Reason • Climate of Inquiry

  3. Lessoning Control of the Church • The Protestant Reformation • The Printing Press • Scientific Developments • The New World (America!)

  4. Philosophies of the Time • Rationalism: Rene Descartes (math)– humans, by reason alone, can discover universal truths • Rationalism: Sir Isaac Newton—mechanical science. All truth found in nature; rejection of supernatural religion. Emphasis placed on principles of deduction (1687)

  5. Philosophy cont. • Deism—the clockmaker God: God made the world, then he let it alone; no divine intervention • Optimism • 1) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz—German mathematician and scientist. Founder of the philosophy of optimism.

  6. Leibnitz cont.—world is organized according to a pre-established harmony. There is a reason for everything that happens. Followed two main assumptions: 1) God is perfect; therefore • 2) Of all the worlds God could have created, he must have made this one perfect, the best. • Leibnitz believed evil had a beneficial value.

  7. 2) Alexander Pope (1688-1744) • English poet—wrote heavily about belief of optimism • Voltaire knew Pope in England (during V’s exile) and admired him until V. decided that optimism was a bunch of hooey • “A little learning is a dangerous thing” • “Whatever is, is right”

  8. 3) Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) • Humanity is naturally good but is corrupted by the environment, education, and government • Since society brings out aggression and egotism, it is better for man to be a “noble savage” • Rousseau sides with Pope and Leibnitz

  9. Voltaire (1694-1778) • French philosopher and rational skeptic • Believed in writing the truth • He championed knowledge against ignorance, reason against superstition, skepticism against theology • Twice imprisoned in the Bastille b/c of his writing and his big mouth • Twice exiled • Nearly everything he published was banned, burned or suppressed

  10. Voltaire cont. • His famous cry was “Crush the infamous thing (superstition)!” • He constantly fought against the system that tortured and plundered in the name of religion • “Men…enriched by your sweat and misery…made you superstitious, not that you might fear God, but that you might fear them.” • He was NOT an atheist

  11. Voltaire cont. • Considered “the fountainhead of the Enlightenment and the intellectual spearhead of the French Revolution” • A conservative in all but religion • Believed in a God who was a creator and punisher of evil, but he attacked any religion he felt to be guilty of superstition, intolerance, or persecution • His town—Ferney (teacher will comment on)

  12. Quotes by and about Voltaire • Voltaire: “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.” • Victor Hugo: “He was an age. To name Voltaire is to characterize the entire eighteenth century.” • Will Durant: “Italy had a Renaissance, Germany had a Reformation, but France had Voltaire.”

  13. Influences on Candide • Leibnitz, Pope, and Rousseau :Optimism • The Seven Years War: between France and Prussia—very bloody war • The Lisbon earthquake: Voltaire wrote Candide as a direct response to this event in 1755; the quake, a tidal wave, and a resulting fire left 30,000-40,000 dead.

  14. Influences cont. • Followers of optimism explained horrors away with the idea that it was all for the best: the living would inherit from the dead; the city would be rebuilt, providing jobs. If it had not happened there, another place would have suffered. • Voltaire did not accept this. He wrote Candide to illustrate what he perceived as the stupidity of this type of optimism. He wrote the whole novel in three days at the age of sixty-five.

  15. Technique in Candide • Voltaire intends for Candide to be a satirical parody. He makes it a parody on the popular adventure novel, and he attacks nearly everything and everybody. It deals with the problem of evil, both natural and man-made. • The satire is used to mock Rousseau and those that abuse power. • See the Reader’s Guide for more on technique.

  16. CANDIDE (CH 1, 2, 17, 18, 19, 30, and supplements) Background • Candide is subtitled “Optimism” and tells a tale of the woes that befall a naïve simpleton who is brought up to believe that this world is the best of all possible worlds. The point of Voltaire’s story is to show how Candide’s optimism is foolish in a world in which people’s lives are shaped for the most part by cruel and incomprehensible forces.

  17. The plot of Candide takes the form of a quest: the young man’s quest for union with his beloved, Cunegonde. They go through a series of separations and reunions, as Cunegonde is taken as booty by the Bulgarians, held prisoner by the Grand Inquisitor, and forcibly kept as a mistress by the Governor of Buenos Aires—in this, the best of all possible worlds. What happens to Candide himself is no better, but the two lovers somehow survive. The tale is told with great verve and hilarity, and, like all quests of this kind, the journey involves much suffering but ends in wisdom.

  18. Voltaire makes fun of both the adventure novels and the pastoral romance novels of his time: shipwrecks, kidnappings by rival suitors, unexpected reunions between long-lost characters, love-sick heroes, far-off (and made-up) settings. This entire book is a parody (mimics another style for the purpose of ridiculing it. Ex: Weird Al Yancovic’s parodies on famous songs).

  19. Literary Focus • Satire is writing that ridicules human weakness, vice, or folly in order to bring about social reform. An expert satirist like Voltaire uses a variety of tools to expose his subject to ridicule—from witty barbs to heavy bludgeons that flatten his opponent’s sacred cows. As Voltaire exposes one absurdity after another, readers become convinced that they would be fools not to agree with his point of view.

More Related