Humanities Carey


We are going to read Voltaire’s Candide on multiple levels, and I want you to think about this book as such, and as a prime work of satire, as with Swift’s A Modest Proposal, it skewers contemporary society and thought.

A) In this context, what is Voltaire arguing against?
B) What are the actual social issues that Voltaire is commenting on? [This may seem like the same question, but in essence, the second one is asking you to see beyond just the plot of what is going on in the story to find out Voltaire’s main critique of contemporary European society and thought (again, re-read A Modest Proposal where Swift makes this quite obvious at the end of the piece).
C) In what ways is Voltaire an example of an Enlightenment philosophe?
D) How does Voltaire’s work stand as an example of Enlightenment thinking/ideals?
E) Compare Voltaire to Condorcet in relation to the zeitgeist of the Enlightenment.