Candide Essay

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In the following excerpt, Hutton argues that the fulfillment of Candide's need for companionship is essential to resolving the problem of "how a good man can live in an evil world."

Few literary works of the Enlightenment have enjoyed the enduring acclaim of Voltaire's Candide. Scholars consider it to be an expression of what is best and deepest in the thought of the Enlightenment. But efforts to unravel the novel's meaning from the wit and satire in which it is cast have revealed a number of philosophical puzzles which are not easily solved. Despite much sophisticated analysis, critics today seem to be no nearer agreement about the novel's meaning than they were two hundred years ago. There is an apparent consensus that the theodicy question is Voltaire's primary concern in the novel, but critics by no means agree as to how he answered it, or whether he thought...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 3,715 words
(approx. 10 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Candide Study Guide
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