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“Candide”

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“Candide” as narrated by Voltaire shows how Candide a man who lived a sheltered life in the Edenic paradise where there was the doctrine of Leibnizian optimism. Candide experienced disappointment as he went through hardships in the world. Later in his experience, candide advocated for the cultivation of their own garden as they believed in the doctrine that in the best of all the likely worlds, all was for best. Optimism was later seen as a barrier to the hard work that people were putting in order to cultivate their garden and was dismissed. Voltaire therefore tries to find out its inferences as was a contributing factor to the fall of man in the Edenic paradise. This raises the question therefore that ‘what caused the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and what is being done to recreate the garden? ’ This forms the basis of the discussion in this essay.  

The two major historic events that the historians and writers like Voltaire have been inspired to study about the fall Candide include the seven years’ war and the 1775 Lisbon earthquake. The theology that the then theologians was mainly focus on the fires of all saints that resulted from the earthquake. These fires had a strong influence on both the theologians and on Voltaire himself. The earthquakes had adverse effects on the doctrine of optimism that was contemporarily followed This doctrine had being in a philosophical system had the implications that people believed it should not occur as it is founded on theodicy that implies that whatever happens is in the best of all because the God they believed is a benevolent deity. To put this concept in its best form it was always said in the best of all possible worlds all was in the best of all. 

The Voltaire took issue with optimism belief which used to describe the disasters that befell Lisbon. Taking issue with the optimism that the optimism that leibnizan had after the innate disaster. He describes the disasters as the most horrifying of all the disasters that have ever occurred in Lisbon.

The fall of man started in the Garden of Eden and characterized by the transition of the innocent man from its innocent obedience to God to the guilty and being disobedience to God. This can be evident the moral and ethical deprivation in the society. The fall resulted in the expelling of man from the garden that is ’paradise. The fall further resulted in the corruption of the whole nature of which is as been known as inequity together with the transgressions that actually results from it. The fall though not directly mentioned in the “Candide”, the fall involves a larger theological inference that refers to all mankind. The fall corrupted the entire world that was natural. This corruption included the corruption of the human personality that has led to giving birth of people in the origin sin making it impossible to attain eternal life without the interventions of God.

The Garden of Eden does not actually symbolize an ecological place but symbolize the past experienced of cultures that subsisted. Voltaire refers to as simpler times when the primitive culture whereby the garden was referred to as the primitive garden. Man lived off God’s bounty. The primitive culture involves hunting and gathering unlike the civilized culture of toiling at agricultural activities. The garden is characterized with the words of the walled orchard garden with many fruits of planted in it. The garden had gates made out of timber and that the gates appertained to the house and the city walls.

In the garden, many evils started lurking everywhere according to Voltaire’s Candide. In the, evil that further resulted in the fall of man was portrayed as ever present and could not be escapable. Man had no option but to look for better means to cope with and be able to undergo it in the best way possible. This was possible optimism and working which are the two ways in which man can be recreated through the useful labor that the Turkish farmers claim would banish and alleviate the three major evils of boredom, poverty and vice. These are the only major ways in the evil can be bearable (Paul, Gary, David, Patricia & John, 2000: p57).

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