xpect the best outcome in any circumstance and Voltaire encourages this optimism. Voltaire intends that the general goodness of the world
prevails over the coexisting evil. Although Candide took an optimistic view to support himself
when encountered with calamity, his optimism was devastated by ignorance and credulity. His
consequent miseries were conciliated by Pangloss’s philosophy that the greater the individual
hardship, the greater is the group’s pleasure. Without his optimism, his lacks the determination to
reach Cunegonde. He encounters several perils, but realizing he still possesses hopes and desires,
he is content to progress.
Along with optimism, Candide acts with ignorance and credulity. After killing the the brother
of Cunegonde, Candide came across two girls chased by two monkeys. Taking pity on the girls,
Candide slays the two monkeys, assuming that they were assaulting the girls. His optimism
tempted his imagination and caused him to spontaneously react as he perceived the scene.
Immediately he praises his noble act and muses that perhaps his crimes will be pardoned by the
rescue of the two girls. Being extremely gullible, he felt as if he had already been saved.
However he was told he had slayed the sweethearts of the girls, and he regretted this disillusion.
If Candide was allowed the luxury of having done a valiant deed, optimism seems like a
convenient tool. Voltaire exploits the weaknesses of conscious optimism in contrast to its true
purpose as unconscious motivation.
Often Candide becomes hopeless and drifts along without a destination. Following his
expulsion from the castle of Westphalia, he raises his eyes to heaven and extends his hopes there.
The anxiety of being seperated from Cunegonde has motivated his optimism. Having no control
over the situation, he depends on the heavens to deliver good things. Voltaire asserts that
optimism develops from uneasiness. When Cunegonde meets Candide in Portugal, she repeats the
act of raising eyes to heaven.
Candide visited El Dorado which was the best city of all possible worlds. A puzzling question
was why he decided to depart El Dorado where his life was pleasant and at ease. Apparently he
felt he would be better off with Cunegonde. He forfeits the opportunity to settle in El Dorado.
Possessing lots of gold, he was tempted to squander his fortune in earthly luxuries and quit his
pursuit of Cunegonde. Instead, Voltaire hinted at none of that and persistently reminds us of
Candide’s determination. He was eager to present his sheep to Cunegonde.
Pangloss’s philosophy provides ground for Candide’s optimism. The evil of the world could be
overcame by the coexisting goodness of the world. Candide learns to cope with misery by the
belief that a more favorable situation shall follow. In Chapter 30, Pangloss said, “There is a
concatenation of events in this best of all possible worlds: for if you had not been kicked out of a
magificent castle…: you would not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio-nuts.” Pangloss
claims that Candide’s present leisure is the product of all the miseries he’d endured. Voltaire
intends Candide to be rewarded for his optimism. Candide’s optimism throughout the story is the
goodness which triumphs over the evils.
Candide’s optimism often leads him to unexpected misfortunes. After each misfortunes, he
reflects his hopes and desires without asserting much control over them. These hopes are
however driven by optimism, and Candide ignores the surrounding evil to progress. At the end
good things do happen to Candide, the product of his optimism.