BOOKS/FILMS/AUTHORS--USEM4--1999

Candide by Voltaire

Candide raised the idea that life, although not always the best, is still worth living, even if you are living only in an attempt to make your life the best it can be.

Christina showed me how marked up her copy was and she said, "But everything is important!" This small book packs a large punch.

I think that Voltaire wanted to prove that life does not need to be perfect to be lived.

Is the human race more inclined to live for love or to live for perfection?

In chapter sixteen, the concept of women loving monkeys as lovers suggests that man is in fact equal to or even inferior to both nature and the animal world.

Although I had already read Candide, this most recent reading . . . held many new discoveries for me. . . . I learned about the problems with religion, governmental structure, and many other societal problems. I also learned, however, to take Voltaire's words with a grain of salt, for these comments of his are opinions and not fact. Although many of these problems were present, Voltaire obviously exaggerates the problems extensively for the purpose of humor.

I was disappointed in our class' response to the book. I find it to be a brilliant satire not only because of the style, but also because it so thoroughly satirizes every group from religious to cultural.

I watched "Network" the other day, and a huge message in that movie was, "People say that man is a noble creature . . . If you can find someone who can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world and tell me that man is a noble creature, then I tell you that that man is full of bullshit." Carrying a message much like Voltaire's, Howard Beale from "Network" was an angry prophet, denouncing the hypocrisies of our times.

I don't understand why Voltaire takes a pessimistic/satirical view on optimism. I would like to discuss the ironies of this belief, and why it is so hard for people to take an optimistic outlook on life. If one looks at everything from a pessimistic point of view, what is that person living for? What are his/her goals in life?

I find Candide to be an extremely naive and pathetic character due to his extreme optimistic outlook on life that continued through all of the unfortunate events he went through.

The story ends with Candide saying that it is time to "cultivate our garden." . . . The garden can be seen as a retreat from the world, a mark of pessimism: the world is evil and there is nothing you can do about it.

The philosophy of optimism has always been very prominent in my outlook on the world and the strategies with which I approach life's obstacles; I have always trusted that somehow all loose ends would eventually be tied. And so when the novel concluded with Candide brushing off his life-long mentor and almost savior with, "But we must cultivate the garden," I felt extremely unresolved and confused.

In Candide, we find a story that revolves around constant, unbearable, fanciful suffering and an unbelievable, implausible hope maintained by the main character, Candide.

The tragedies that each character went through and the depressing ending leave me a feeling of uneasiness. I almost feel as if I want to create a happy ending just to make me feel better.

It is possible to trust and believe someone and to doubt them, even completely disagree with someone, yet still respect them.

Did the horrific scene of the cruelly dismembered Negro slave make the patrons of the salon, calmly sipping their sugared tea, actually incite change on their part?

The old woman's statement made me think that, no matter how bad things may turn out, they could always be worse.