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Voltaire and Racine - Essay Example

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Author : hkshlerin

Summary

Voltaire's novel Candide is a satirical look on the concepts and beliefs that enveloped society during his days. On the one hand, it maintains Enlightenment claims about the futility of blind fate and disruptive passion, but on the other hand, it also calls for caution against too much philosophizing and incorrect logic brought about by the misuse of reason…

Extract of sample
Voltaire and Racine


Voltaire's Candide tackles three important themes: man's search for happiness and the means that he uses to achieve it; the folly of blind faith and the belief in destiny; and the nature of man - his passion and reason. According to Pope, "Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r / / One truth is clear, whatever is, is right." This passage is reminiscent of Pangloss' main philosophy in Candide - that "everything necessarily serves the best end" and that we live in the "best of all possible words." Through Pangloss, Voltaire attacks Pope's "Essay on Man" by illustrating the futility of blind fate and pure optimism. Voltaire disagrees with what Pope calls "the ruling mind of nature," as he illustrated through Pangloss, justifying events based on preconceived notions that are neither supported by concrete evidence nor past experience will only lead to false reasoning and absurd beliefs.
Pope also makes a point about the relationship between reason and passion. ...
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