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Optimism Diguised as Pessimisn in the Candide

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One of the prime examples of optimism disguised a pessimism is Lady Cunegonde's story (pages16-19). In this chapter it talks about Lady Cunegonde's story and everything she went through. On page 17 she states that she was raped because she was so beautiful, but if it wasn't for her beauty she would have been killed. She's really happy that she wasn't killed but she was stabbed in the stomach and had to watch her family be killed. It was a good thing that she was saved but her joy of being saved is hidden by the sadness and pessimism of having to watch her loved ones die.

Another good example of optimism described as pessimism is when the old lady tells her story to Candide and Lady Cunegonde (Chapter). The old lady was the daughter of a pope. In the first place popes aren't supposed to have had any sexual relationships, let alone have kids. On top of that, she was a princess and lost her crown and title. She was then later raped and passed from man to man. Later on there was a starvation problem and the men concluded to cut off one of the women's butt cheeks and eat it. So, the old lady had to go through a lot of degrading things and then live with only one butt cheek. But she is also a wonderful person that everyone trusts and goes to for help. She is able to help people because of what she went through.

When Cucambo and Candide go to Eldorado, they discover that they only use gold and jewels for rocks on the roads (Page). When they first arrive, they see school children playing with it and treating it like dirt and they automatically assume that they are the kids of the royal family. This shows the ignorance of the royal family (Bourbons) in France. Later on they meet up with the person over Eldorado and when they say they're going to leave he asks what they can do to help them. Candide and Cucambo being such greedy people, or natural men as Voltaire words it, take the goods they are offered and leave. This shows the selfishness of the common man.

When professor Pangloss was killed, Candide was sad at first and then saw it as the universe balancing out. Throughout the story he refers back to Dr. Pangloss and questions whether or not he would approve. This shows people really never get over death and accept what happens. Everyone coming back to life could even symbolize that people never really let loved ones go and are always trying to make it as though they are still living and helping us. Plus, it shows that we depend on other people way too much when making everyday decisions that we should be able to make without even thinking.

The last example is in the end, Candide spends all his money and they all end up living on a farm, the woman he fell in love with has now become very ugly, her brother still doesn't want him to marry her. This represents the irresponsibility and greediness of mankind. The Baron not allowing Candide to marry



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