Voltaire's Candide and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Essay

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Voltaire's Candide And Shelley's Frankenstein

One of my favorite sections in Voltaire's Candide involves Candide's interaction with Pangloss. We are told Pangloss is a philosophy teacher, but we soon learn that titles can be deceiving. The more Candide engages with him, the more we discover how troubled this man truly is. I enjoyed the satire used in this section of the story. For example, Pangloss has contracted syphilis and traces the disease all the way back to Columbus, who is responsible for bringing it to the other side of the globe. Through his philosophizing, he has determined that without syphilis, "we would not have chocolate" (Voltaire 23). Here we see his philosophy in rare form. What Voltaire is teaching through Pangloss is that just because someone declares himself to be something significant such as a philosopher, we should never take them at their word. Actions always speak the truth about an individual. Voltaire is also suggesting that philosophy is basically useless in our world with this ridiculous character.

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I also enjoyed the fact that Candide discovers that happiness is possible through the simple things in life. The Turk is instrumental in this discovery and tells Candide how cultivating his garden "keeps away three great evils: boredom, vice, and need" (100). Candide realizes that we all play a part in the experience of life. Through connecting with others, we build relationships, possibilities, and, from that, we grow. Our lives are our proverbial gardens. Pangloss learns this from the Turk and he also learns that "man was not born for rest" (101). Work becomes just as important as every other aspect of our lives. These parts are connected and by doing the best we can, we are not only making our existence better, we are also making the lives of others better because we are more likely to be happy and productive.

TOPIC: Essay on Voltaire's Candide and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Assignment

One of my favorite parts of Frankenstein is how Victor went through the stages of figuring out how to create his being. I enjoyed how Shelley describes how much Victor worked day and night, isolating himself from everyone he knew. Victor becomes so blinded by his own desire that he begins to think that he has somehow been selected to possess a special knowledge that no other man has possessed. He is the chosen one for this task. He studied hard and dedicated himself to his mission and no one can deny that the man had a passion for his work. I thought how Victor went to the graveyards and spent time in the charnel houses was exceptional to the feel of the story. Victor admits that he saw how the "worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain" (Shelley 37). He is not sickened by this sight but more mesmerized by it as he can see the "change from life to death, and death to life, until from the midst of this darkness" (37). He admits that sees the light, as it were, to the secret of life and feels blessed to discover that he "alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret" (37). This character development is so realistic because it describes how people become when they let their passions begin to override their logic and reason. Victor did not think it was strange that he was spending time in graveyards; he thought he was gaining a secret knowledge that would help him solve the mystery of life. This section of the book helps us see Victor's true character.

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Voltaire's Candide and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  (2009, July 8).  Retrieved January 16, 2022, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/voltaire-candide-mary-shelley-frankenstein/311888

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"Voltaire's Candide and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."  8 July 2009.  Web.  16 January 2022. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/voltaire-candide-mary-shelley-frankenstein/311888>.

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"Voltaire's Candide and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein."  Essaytown.com.  July 8, 2009.  Accessed January 16, 2022.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/voltaire-candide-mary-shelley-frankenstein/311888.