Presentation on theme: "By Voltaire. Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet l.j.): One of the greatest writers in history--holds a place in French literature and history roughly comparable."— Presentation transcript:
Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet l.j.): One of the greatest writers in history--holds a place in French literature and history roughly comparable to the place that Shakespeare holds in English literature. Wrote about 75 plays Wrote several works of epic and satirical poetry--Most famous poem, L'henriade (A French national epic about Henry IV of France) Wrote voluminous works of history The Century of Louis XIV Articles for the French Encyclopedie Wrote scientific works Wrote a great deal of literary criticism Dr. RalphDoctor who died at Minden in 1759 Voltaire denied authorship to protect himself from punishment. Pseudonym is obviously false = causes a sense of playfulness.
Voltaire wrote in many genres, including a genre called the Philosophical Talethis is best represented by Candide A very specialized genre quite popular in the 18 th century Should not be read realistically--the purpose is not to present a believable version of life, as in a novel. These works are works of satire--they are intended to use humor to criticize some philosophical position.
A philosophical tale tests a certain proposition Gulliver's Travels Book IV tested the proposition that humans were "rational animals." Candide is designed to test the proposition that this is the best of all possible worlds. This is known as the philosophy of "Optimism" It was formalized in the eighteenth century by Gottfreid Wilhelm von Leibnitz and popularized by Alexander Pope
German mathematician Co-inventor of calculus Philosopher and theologian Developer of the philosophical theory of optimism Applied mathematical formulas to theological issues
1) If God is all powerful 2) And God is moral ___________________________________ Then everything that happens in the world must be the best thing that could possibly happen
We are part of a system and cannot see the whole picture. What we see as bad is actually good and necessary. We are a part of nature, not the singular end of creation. It is only our pride that causes us to see our immediate suffering as a bad thing. Whatever IS is right.
Greatest English Neoclassical poet. Translator of The Iliad and The Odyssey Master of the closed heroic couplet English populizer of Leibnitzs theory of optimism
Candide Our naïve protagonist Cunegonde Candides love Baron of Thunder-ten- tronchkh powerful lord in Westphalia (Germany) Kicks out Candide for kissing Cunegonde Baron Jr. (aka Jesuit Baron of Thunder-ten-tronchkh) Jesuit Reverend Father / Commander in Paraguay Candide kills him Dr. Pangloss All Tounge = proponent of optimism Hanged by the Inquisition James (Jacques) the Anabaptist Protestant who opposed infant baptism Provides charity to Candide in Holland. Pays for Panglosss cure from syphilis Takes Candide and Pangloss to Lisbon on business The Grand Inquisitor Auto-da-fe = literally act of faith in Portugueseceremony in which heretics are burned Noticed Cunegonde at mass shares her with Don Issachar Don Issachar Jewish man who bought Cunegonde from the handsome Bulgar captain.
Old Woman Daughter of Pope Urban and Princess Palestrina Voltaires omitted footnote: Observe the authors extreme discretion! Until now there has never been any pope named Urban X. He stops short of attributing a bastard to a known pope. Oh, what circumspection! Oh, what delicacy of conscience! Trials & tribulations Age 14 = beauty, pirates, slavery, death of mother, eunuch in Morocco, slavery again, plague, Turkish general, loss of a buttock, Russian noble (Boyar), barmaid, servant to Don Issachar Governor of Buenos Aires Cunegonde marries him to avoid persecution (regarding the murder of the Grand Inquisitor) Cacambo Candides valet street smart and acts as a foil to Candide Monsieur Vanderdendur Tortured his slavetook his left leg and right hand Swindles Candide, steals his last two sheep, but meets a suitable end when his ship is attacked by pirates. Martin Poor scholar who Candide pays to travel with him Manichean = a belief that two principles, one good, the other evil, contended as equals for mastery of the universe. Catholic church denied that a powerful, evil force necessarily kept goodness in check. Knows El Dorado
Marquis de Parolignac Plays cards with Candide Love tryst Abbe A member of the clergy from the region of Perigord in southwestern France Shows Candide Paris Writes letters from Cunegonde and turns Candide over to the police Paquette Panglosss maid from Ch. 1 With Brother Giroflee in Venice Candides experiment about the power of money Lord Pocucurante Venician nobleman; supposed to be happy
Drift from Cayenne…river goes under a vault of terrifying rocks that soared into the sky. Original homeland of the Incas Set up as a constitutional monarchy – the king governs with the approval of the people Religion = belief in one god, no prayer as it is not needed (have everything!) No law = not needed. Gold and jewels are worthless = dirt. Food = parrots, condors, monkeys, hummingbirds, etc. Cacambo in the lead Vow not to leave El Dorado vs. Candides/Cacambos decision to leave – to be happy no longer Pay off the Governor of Buenos Aires
Location: landed on the shore of the Propontis and came to the house of a Transylvanian Prince (Turkey) Candides marriage to Cunegonde Spite Cunegondes beauty Members on the Farm: Candide, Cunegonde, Old Woman, Martin, Pangloss, Cacambo, and eventually Paquette and Brother Giroflee. What happened to the Baron Jr.? Turks advice: Power of work That is well said, but we must cultivate our garden.
A close reading of Chapter One establishes most of the major themes that will recur in the book. Candide lives in a perfect world, which he will always try to recapture. At the end of Book One, he is kicked out of Paradise (kind of a metaphor for humanitys fall from Eden). Candide will always remember this world as an ideal time, and Cunegonde as the ideal woman. He will live his life trying to recapture this ideal world rather than trying to find an attainable happiness. This is a satire on the general human tendency to always believe that there was a Golden Age that individuals and societies are fallen from.
The attack on Optimism The stand in for Leibnitz in this satire is Dr. Pangloss (Dr. All Tongue) Panglosss philosophy in Ch. 1 It has been proven, that things cannot be other than what they are, for since everything is made for an end, everything is necessarily for the best end. Glasses, legs, stones, & pigs Ch. 4 Syphilis is "good" because it gave us chocolate and cochineal (scarlet dye) Ch. 5 The belief that all happens for the good prevents Candide from rescuing James, the Anabaptist. Earthquake in Lisbon = Candide is dying and Pangloss wants to prove his point rather than help him. This earthquake is not a unique phenomenon…same causes, same effects The rebuttal to Pangloss is the entire novel of Candide
The narrative progresses from one disaster to another Almost all of the events that Voltaire chronicles (earthquakes, wars, auto's da fe, etc.) were historical occurrences. These events, Voltaire believes, are a rebuttal to the philosophy of optimism. (And not an entirely fair one either; the philosophy can certainly accommodate them.) There IS a divine providence at work in Candide. Things happen that are completely impossible, but this providence almost always seems to work AGAINST people, as if God were going out of his way to make Candide miserable (rather than happy.)
Bulgars =Prussians/ French troops of Frederick the Great. Oreillons = big ears tribe of Indians in Peru who pierced and distended their ears. Monarchy Six kings with Cacambo Countries France Troops Candide & Martins trip to Paris England Death of Admiral John Byng Religion Monks and sex Jews = anti-Semitic Catholicism Lets eat a Jesuit! Billet de confession (aka indulgence)
Voltaire was a "deist"--he was not an atheist, but he believed that God was an organizer, or a clockmaker, and that, after organizing the world and creating certain natural laws, he allowed it to run by itself. Deism is derived entirely from reason-- God is not experienced through revelation or sacred text; he is deduced from reason and from the evidence of the natural world. This was a very popular religious position among Enlightenment thinkers--Thomas Jefferson was also a deist. It is very consistent with Enlightenment ideals: the search for foundational principles in morality, law, politics, art, music, and literature (to name only a few). Voltaire spent much of his life crusading against what he called l'infâme (the infamy), which, for him, meant a kind of hostile religious fanaticism and intolerance. Voltaire himself was exiled from both Catholic France and Calvinist Geneva He managed to make enemies on both sides of a major issue--a real accomplishment for a satirist. Some examples of this kind of intolerance in Candide is the Pope Antichrist? (attack on Protestantism) the auto da fe (attack on Catholicism) In the city of El Dorado, there are no monks or priests Voltaire is working positively to show how well society can be run without religious discourse. Many of the sympathetic characters in Candide are from organizations on the fringes of organized religion The Anabaptists (Jacques the Anabaptist) A German sect of adult baptizers Tended towards socialism Everyone hated them. Manichees (Martin) Believed that good and evil were equally matched and equally important. An official Catholic "heresy"--you could get burned for it.
Eden / Paradise Westphalia The garden El Dorado Others? What is this novel saying about…? War Wealth Civilized society Organized religion Aristocracy and class levels