The Positive and Negative

1 January 2017

One can be an optimist, a person who has a positive outlook on life and no matter what is going on one always-thinks positive. However, a pessimist is the pole opposite of an optimist. A pessimist is a person who has a negative outlook of life and always thinks of the negative in any situation. A great example of an optimist and pessimist view is in Voltaire’s Candide, tells the story of Candide an illegitimate nephew of a German baron.

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He lives and grows up at a baron’s castle. His teacher Pangloss teaches him. Pangloss teaches hint that this world is “the best of all possible worlds”. Candide falls in love with the barons beautiful and young daughter named Cunegonde. One day, Cunegonde and Candide are caught kissing by the baron. The baron kicks Candide out of the castle. He joins an army and runs away. Numerous things happen to Candide’s in his adventures in the world to reunite with Cunegonde. In Candide, the main character Candide is so native to the world.

He has been sheltered and breeds to believe in Pangloss’s optimistic faith in the workings of the world. Pangloss teaches Candide the structure of the world but knows little about the world since he stays in a fairy tale life in a castle. Candide has never question Pangloss’s philosophy, he has no other chose he is innocent to the outside world. Candide is innocent in the begins of this story but towards the end he gains experience, lessons from his travels. He is stuck in a child like world but the harsh reality made him grow-up.

In Candide’s travels, he meets an old scholar named Martin as he sail on a boat from Bordeaux. Martin embeds the pessimistic views as a character. He contradicts Candide’s innocence. For example, “Candide and Martin saw clearly a hundred men on the deck of the sinking ship; they all raised their hands to heaven, uttering fearful shrieks; and in a moment everything was swallowed up. -Well said Martin, that is how men treat one another. -It is true, said Candide, there’s something devilish in this business. (221) Martin lives in the outside world and knows the evils of it.

He knows the evil men do to one another. Martin tries to show Candide for every good thing that happens others suffer for it. For instance, “…crime is punished sometimes…Dutch merchant has met the fate he deserved. -Yes, said Martin; but did the passengers aboard his ship have to perish too? God punished the scoundrel, and the devil drowned the others. ” (221) The innocent people on the ship with the Dutch pirate that stole from Candide have to suffer his punishment for his evil deeds.

Martin’s arguments appear logical and more persuasive than Candide’s version of Pangloss’s philosophy. Nevertheless, like Pangloss, Martin believes so firmly in his own view of the world that he occasionally discharges real evidence that contradicts his philosophy. Such as, “Do you believe, said Martin, that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they could get them? -Of course, said Candide. –Well said Martin, if hawks have always had the same character, why do you supposed that men have changed? Oh, said Candide, there’s a great deal of difference, because freedom of the will…


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