The basic and common concepts that the author discusses in a literary work are referred to as themes. Voltaire satirizes many facets of European life in his book Candide to illustrate the shortcomings and corruption of the 18th century. The novella has multiple themes, but one core philosophical theme runs throughout the work. Voltaire opposes the philosophy of Leibniz, Pope, and others who viewed the universe as the best of all possible worlds due to its existence. Voltaire decides to abandon this idea after seeing the unnecessary pain that consumes him, and he opposes it by openly mocking society’s perception of women’s roles. This paper aims to analyze how the theme of redemption is brought out by Voltaire in Candide.
Redemption in the context of the novella refers to the act of being saved from sin. There are several instances in the novel where the theme of redemption can be found. For instance, there is the redemption of Pangloss who endures so many trials and even overcomes death so that she can be saved from sin. Cunegonde and Cacambo also suffer a lot before Candide redeems them. Nevertheless, the main instance of redemption in the novel is the redemption of Candide himself. He endures trial after trial and goes through a lot of suffering before he is eventually redeemed.
After being expelled from Baron’s castle and losing Cungode, the girl she loved, Candide is still optimistic that things would be better. He then decides to travel the world. Because of his optimism, Candide gets saved from his suffering. He gets Cungode back and finds himself a farming career. However, before he got Cungode back, Candidate had to kill two people. Thus, according to Voltaire, redemption has to be bought.
Voltaire. Candide: By Voltaire. Macmillan, 1999.