English Study Guide to Voltaire's Candide
This motif does not strictly apply to Candide and Cunegonde, Nowhere is this more evident than in the relationship between Candide and Cunegonde. a solution to the problems satirized in the form of Candide's farm. Here are some things to pay attention to as you review Candide. . What is the Old Woman's advice to Cunegonde? . The etymology of the term "prudence" involves an interesting relationship with the term "providence. Candide. A N D R E W. D AV I D. Voltaire's Candide was written at a time of intellectual rebellion. It was a relationship was his mother. The idea of victory (7), despite the obvious problem with this. that Cunegonde was with Candide, he.
The only way to keep overwhelming skepticism at bay, that is skepticism that is neither natural nor protective, is for there to be role modeling and mentoring by those who teach the students. Where does Voltaire illustrate someone who inspires confidence, demonstrates moral uprightness, and is intelligent? While some may think Voltaire has no faith in humanity, one will only have to look to Cacambo: Any reader tempted to conclude that Voltaire has no faith in human nature must reconsider when faced with the example of Cacambo [ 8 ].
Teachers must give them the information they need and mentor them through necessary experiences and situations. They must become Cacambos. Expectations of medical students: It was a place where honest people could be found and were contented with their lot in life, "I am very ignorant sir, but I am contented in my ignorance It was a place where the ground was littered with "the pebbles and sand, which we call gold and precious stones [ 4 ].
Everybody enjoyed everything and everyone's needs were met. It was a place Voltaire felt could never exist. Nonetheless there is an "El Dorado" of medical practice in the medical students' mind, the ultimate destination of their voyage in medicine. While he or she may know there are pitfalls along the road, they hope for idealized conditions such as insured patients, honest administrators, prompt-paying insurers, a few "precious pebbles" that they may acquire along the way, and hopefully, an understanding spouse or partner.
As the medical student approaches his or her senior year the optimism remains for a bright future. Although they are encumbered by a huge debt for their medical education their quest for the El Dorado of medicine remains their ideal [ 9 ].
However, while the Pangloss of their optimism whispers in one ear, the Martin of skepticism has begun to whisper in the other. Indeed, both optimism and skepticism have their place, but medical students need, as Candide did, someone to support them in this journey. But does society have expectations of physicians?
Gender in Voltaire’s “Candide”
While in Paris with Martin and an Abbe, Candide came across a particular situation the burial of royaltyand the reaction of the local populace surprised him: It is the way of these people.
Imagine all the contraindications, all the inconsistencies possible, and you may meet with them in the government, the courts of justice, and the public spectacles of this odd nation.
Society may be wearing an angry smile.
The angry smile may not only be that of a patient, but also that of managed care, private insurance companies, or the government. The government may play a particularly pivotal role because it represents large social trends and ambivalences.
The community wants to be able to trust physicians and have confidence that they will do the right thing. The community does not like what has happened to the doctor-patient relationship. This relationship has been transformed "by substituting questions of cost and benefit for traditional relations of care and trust It is important mentors make sure that students understand that: It cannot function as an institution without good faith on the part of the provider, patient and public as a whole.
The root of the public's trust is the confidence that physicians will put the patients' welfare ahead of all other considerations, even the patients' momentary wishes or the physicians' monetary gain. It is the function of medicine as a profession to safeguard and promote this trust in the society at large.
This point could be phrased by the maxim: One day while returning to the farm Candide, Pangloss, and Martin Cacambo had not accompanied them on this particular outing passed a "good-looking old man, who was enjoying some fresh air at his doorway under the alcove formed by the boughs of orange trees [ 4 ]. Candide assumed the old Turk had a vast estate, but he did not, "I have no more than twenty acres of ground, the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children, and our labour keeps us from three great evils—boredom, vice and want [ 4 ].
Candide commented to Pangloss and Martin "that we must cultivate our garden [ 4 ]. Thereafter all the inhabitants of the farm pooled their talents in a community effort that allowed the enterprise to produce good harvests, and these good harvests economic and social were possible because Candide had been guided by the role and active presence of his "good mentor", Cacambo.
The faculty members of medical schools, as role models and mentors, must be involved in an enterprise that produces good harvests. Collective efforts must be directed at producing, not only competent practitioners, but physicians who know what to expect and what is expected of them. For this to happen, able mentors are required.
Able mentors are teachers with integrity, experience, and flexibility [ 11 ]. By contrasting the traits of characters with opposite genders, it becomes clear that the relationship between men and women has been turned on its head. Shortly thereafter, she seduces Candide— notably not the other way around, as traditional gender norms would uphold— by dropping her handkerchief coyly. This motif does not strictly apply to Candide and Cunegonde, as well.
Arguably, the old woman is the character who has suffered the most in her lifetime, yet she still has a flaming passion for life. This understanding of life is the same one shared by influential Enlightenment philosophers including David Hume and Voltaire himself.
Voltaire's Candide, medical students, and mentoring
Voltaire takes his critique of gender a level deeper by not only examining individual character traits with relation to gender, but also by using women as the sole catalysts for positive change within the novel. He turns traditional power relations between genders on their heads, by having women play more dominant roles than men in both their personal relationships and the central narrative of the novel.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the relationship between Candide and Cunegonde. The relationship is initiated by Cunegonde as she drops her handkerchief, coquettishly hoping for Candide to pick it up.
When caught kissing Cunegonde by the baron, Candide is exclusively blamed as the perpetrator regardless of the reality of the situation.
After her one brief fling with Candide, Cunegonde is shipped off to Spain, setting her lover off on an endless journey to recapture his now fetishized love. His struggle to marry Cunegonde is framed recurrently as an attempt to find his lost self, or his other half: While the relationship begins based off of pure physical attraction, it ends with Candide upholding his ethical imperative to marry Cunegonde regardless of her now-revolting appearance.
It found acceptance in certain circles all over Europe, for example in English, where it became the subject of Alexander Pope's famous poem Essay on Man Leibniz argued that the world we are in, despite all the suffering and criminality that attaches to it, is "the best of all possible worlds. Voltaire uses this phrase as a convenient shorthand for the entire argument and the outlook on natural and moral evil that it supports.
You might find it interesting, eventually, to check out an abstract of the central argument of the Theodicy as Leibnitz' treatise has come to be referred to, in abbreviated form: Certainly it was regarded as such by the religious authorities.
Instead, the book came to the public as having been written by some learned German no one had ever heard of, and translated by who knows whom, but probably some hack hired by the French publisher who also was nowhere specified.
Of course Voltaire's close friends were in the know, and it wasn't long before it was an open secret in intellectual circles in Europe that Candide was the child of the famous Voltaire.
But Voltaire himself always modestly disavowed the work in public. In fact, behind the scenes he went to some lengths to further obscure its authorship. Note the date with which he endowed this letter from "Herr Demad.
Chapter I The story begins in Germany, which Voltaire treats as a backwater of barbaric aristocrats with ridiculous pretensions to culture. Though the How does Voltaire design the opening chapter to be recognized as a parody of the Biblical story of the Fall? In case we missed this on first reading, the opening lines of Chapter 2 remind us to rethink the opening chapter in these terms. It would be a good idea to briefly review the details of Genesis 2: What, though, are the differences that make for humor here?
Why would Voltaire be doing this? What do you figure Voltaire might be getting at here? What are we to make of the behavior of the orator upon charity Candide encounters in Amsterdam?
James the Anabaptist What are we supposed to notice about the Anabaptist James who appears in Chapters ? How does he contrast with the Batavian sailor?
What do you think is Voltaire's point in including him in the story? When Candide meets up with his old tutor Pangloss, the latter is in a pitiable condition.
Footnote 4 is of help here in catching on to the humor. How does he explain the cause of his woes in the light of his principles of philosophical optimism? What does this have to do with what his name connotes? On Sunday, the first of November,around 11 o'clock in the morning Lisbon the capital of Portugal was struck by a horrendous earthquake. Buildings were leveled all over the city.
Death was massive, particularly because much of the population was at the moment attending church, and was buried in the rubble of their collapse. News of the disaster spread rapidly all over Europe. What trauma can you imagine this event posed for both orthodox Christian theology and philosophical optimism? What features are in common between the two outlooks, that you infer that Voltaire is hostile to?
In Chapter 5, Pangloss gets into a discussion of theological issues with a "a familiar of [informant for] the Inquisition. What assumptions about the causes of the earthquake can we infer must have motivated the recommendation of the faculty of the University of Coimbra?
What does Voltaire think of the mentality of the faculty? Can you put your finger on where exactly this opinion is most directly indicated? How does Candide come to be reunited with Cunegonde? What are the chief episodes in her story of her experiences since the "Fall"?
What points is Voltaire making about military honor and religious authorities? What stress is this story designed to put upon the assumptions of philosophical optimism? How are these implications emphasized by the sorts of happenings Voltaire has invented as the facts of the Old Woman who has become Cunegonde's valet companion? Why does Candide have to skidaddle from Lisbon? What kind of advice does he get from the Old Woman?