I plan to do my final paper on the novel Candide written by Voltaire. I chose to do this because I have always wanted the opportunity to re-read the novel. I also really enjoy the many themes of the story and the symbolism of the garden.
My paper will be based around one of the books motifs, “All is for the best… in the best of all worlds”. My goal would be to examine what is the best of all possible worlds. To do this I will have to define what the best of all possible worlds is and in addition consider opposing viewpoints. I hope to also tie this into the overall theme of alienation, and argue that it is better to have company so that one does not feel alienated from the rest of society. I plan to structure my paper in parallel to the traveling Candide does within the novel and incorporate the lesson learned at each place of visit.
Other aspects that I wish to explore include philosophical optimism which was popular at the time of the book’s writing of the Enlightenment period as well as other actual historical accounts Voltaire refers to. An important theme throughout the novel is anti-religion which I believe also needs to be addressed in my paper. I would like to end my paper with Voltaire’s garden and the symbolism behind it offering some kind of solution that involves happiness and simplicity.
1.How does one know once they have reached the goal of being in the best of all possible worlds?
2. How does companionship affect life satisfaction?
3.How do the ideas of the time such as philosophical optimism and anti-religion affect the context of the novel?
One thing I am not sure is if I am planning to cover too many topics and perhaps a narrower and more direct approach would be better? Any advice would be appreciated!