Candide is a humorous, far-fetched tale by Voltaire satirizing the optimism promoted by the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment. It is the story of a young man’s adventures throughout the world, where he witnesses evil and disaster. Throughout his travels, he adheres to the teachings of his tutor, Pangloss, believing that "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds," (Voltaire 4). Candide is Voltaire’s answer to what he saw as an absurd belief proposed by the Optimists. “Candide…is a profound attack on philosophical Optimism and, through it, all philosophical systems that claim falsely to justify the presence of evil in the world,” (Mason 1). “Candide anatomizes the world's potential for disaster and examines the corresponding human capacity for optimism,” (Bell 1). Though he was by no means a pessimist, Voltaire refused to believe that what happens is always for the best.
The Age of Enlightenment is a term applied to a wide variety of ideas ...