Voltaires, Candide is a simple yet in-depth critization of the optimisitc philosphy of certain thinkers in the age of enlightenment. It is story of young Candide and how he witnesses and uses his misfortunes to reshape his philosphy on life. Candide's stuggle is the perfect ground for Voltaire to voice his views of the world. Its outlandish style also makes it very amusing to anyone, creating a perfect medium of critic; neither preachy nor bland.
Candide is raised in Westphalia where he is thought, metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology by the learned Pangloss. Pangloss' idea is that a world with evil is acceptable, because God,who is perfect and all knowing, created this world for a purposeful cosmic plan. Because of that theory, Candide and Pangloss are blindly optimistic about all trouble that falls on them, often thinking it is for the best.
Candide has a good life in Westphalia until he is banished by the baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh for kissing his daughter, Cunégonde. Soon after his banishment Candide is put into the army which heavily contradicts his master Pangloss' philosphy that all is for best. Candide is thouroughly tested in his army experience and manages to escape only to find his master again. Pangloss is now heavily disfigured due to the syphilis he has contracted but still Pangloss holds on to his ideals, believing all is best because along with this disease also came chocolate and cochineal,. Pangloss also explains that bulgars have came to the castle and killed everyone including his love. Candide soon after takes Pangloss to the Anabaptist Jacques, a doctor that helps cure the syphilis. Jacques is one of the first characters that actually appears to have a balanced grip on life. He is generous and humane, helping Pangloss when he is in need. Ironically the only character which seems to have an ideal philosphy is tossed into the sea after helping to save a sailors life.
After washing ashore in Lisbon, they find a earthquake...