Compare and Contrast Happines in Candide, Rasselas, Essay on Man

1475 words 6 pages

Throughout history humankind has been trying to define happiness. What is it exactly and how do we obtain it? We always think that happiness is a place to be or a destination and technically, that is the main premise or goal of our lives; to obtain happiness. So our whole lives go by from the minute were born to the last breath we take in a quest to work hard in order to reach that destination. Naturally, many philosophical writers have jumped on the bandwagon and put in their two cents of their views on the matter of happiness. Alexander Pope talks about the relationship and purpose man has to the universe in An Essay on Man, Voltaire wrote about living in blind optimism with a false notion of happiness in Candide, and Samuel
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“He proved admirably that there cannot possibly be an effect without a cause and that in this best of all possible worlds the baron’s castle was the most beautiful of all castles and his wife the best of all possible baronesses. —It is clear, said he, that things cannot be otherwise than they are, for since everything is made to serve an end, everything necessarily serves the best end” (Voltaire 378). Pangloss represents Pope and people like him who believe in the blind optimism that this is the best of all worlds, as Pangloss states time and time again throughout Candide. Throughout the story Candide and Pangloss see all kinds of hardships and suffering. Though we witness Candide beginning to second guess everything he has believed after witnessing it all, Pangloss stubbornly sticks to his beliefs. Even after seeing all the evil there is in the world he decides to continue preaching his false optimism till the end and continues to make excuses for the horrors of the world. Candide however, eventually is able break way from is mentors views and comes to his own conclusions for once after witnessing all the horrors that he did. In the end, they decide to live out the rest of their lives gardening secluded from the rest of society. They each went from having all those different contrasting opinions about life, to having none at all. No more optimism or pessimism, just cultivating their