Candid Analysis

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As the title of the book suggests, Candide is synonymous with optimism. Pure and unbelievably naive, Candide follows the philosophy taught him by Pangloss that this is the best of all possible worlds. Voltaire uses Candide as a tool to show the absolute ludicracy of complete optimism. At points Candide calls into doubt the credibility of Pangloss' philosophy, but is sure to return to it when even the slightest bit of hope rears its head. …

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…hful to Candide. Perhaps Cunegonde represents the female manipulative power also represented by the Marquise, but in a more secretive manner. Like other aged females in the book, Cunegonde becomes ugly and shrewish in old age. Even in her age, however, she is shrewd enough to hold Candide to his promise of marriage, using him to escape slavery and become economically sound, whereas in her youth and beauty he could offer her nothing by marriage.