0.00 Avg rating0 Votes
Genres: Banned Books
Language: English
Type: Digital

Candide, ou l'Optimisme (Candide: or, All for the Best) is a satirical novella by French writer Voltaire, first published in 1759. The story follows the life of Candide, a young man who is deeply influenced by the Panglossian philosophy of optimism, which states that "everything in the world is for the best". Candide's unwavering belief in optimism is put to the test through a series of misfortunes, including war, natural disasters, and personal loss. Despite all the suffering he witnesses, Candide continues to believe that everything happens for a reason and that the world is ultimately a good place.


  • Optimism vs. Pessimism: The novella explores the nature of optimism and pessimism, and how these two philosophies can shape one's outlook on life. Candide's unwavering belief in optimism is challenged by the many misfortunes he experiences, but he ultimately comes to believe that a moderate form of optimism is the best way to cope with the world's evils.

  • The Problem of Evil: The novella also grapples with the question of evil in the world. Candide witnesses firsthand the horrors of war, natural disasters, and human cruelty, and he struggles to reconcile these events with his belief in a benevolent God. The novella does not provide a definitive answer to the problem of evil, but it suggests that evil is a part of the world and that we must learn to live with it.

  • The Importance of Human Relationships: Despite the many setbacks he experiences, Candide finds solace and companionship in his friends and loved ones. The novella emphasizes the importance of human connection and suggests that these relationships are essential for our well-being.


  • Critique of Religious Optimism: Candide has been interpreted as a critique of religious optimism, which posits that all suffering has a divine purpose. Voltaire suggests that this kind of optimism can be a form of complacency and can lead to the acceptance of injustice.

  • Satire of Human Folly: The novella also satirizes human folly and hypocrisy. Candide encounters a cast of characters who are driven by greed, vanity, and self-interest. The novella suggests that these vices are the root of much of the world's suffering.

  • Enduring Appeal: Candide has remained popular for centuries due to its insightful exploration of human nature and its timeless message of hope and resilience. The novella has been adapted into numerous films, operas, and stage plays.


Candide is a complex and thought-provoking novella that has been praised for its wit, its sharp social commentary, and its enduring relevance. The novella challenges us to confront the problem of evil in the world and to find a way to live with it. It also reminds us of the importance of optimism, even in the face of adversity.


Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.