CandideCandide by Voltaire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The allegorical pinings of the the ostensibly misanthropic Voltaire, with sprinkles of anti-semitism that appeared to drive the point home if you weren’t convinced.

Pangoss had it right; everything was just the way it was supposed to be; that doesn’t mean everything was good, subjectively speaking, except in El Dorado, which presumably is what we all strive for. Well, everyone but Candide, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, and anyone else that saw a diamond flashing in the sun.

The story was a dark cartoon with an ulterior message; that was probably because Voltaire lived in a time, a place where that was the best he could do without being ravaged by the very society he mocked.

I know that there are many who read much more into this book than I did. Human nature is what it is, and other than Pangloss and Voltaire himself, I don’t know anybody that considers this the best of all worlds, hence the rise of religion, and other mind altering escapes. I’ll hand it to old Voltaire though; he wasn’t trying to prosletyze or change your mind, he was stimulating your own beliefs, your own thoughts of what is. And who are we, but savages on this ghetto outpost known as earth to figure out something, assuming that it is something that is even contemplatable. Well, we can try anyway.

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