Essay on Voltaire?s Candide: The Accuracy of Candide

Essay on Voltaire?s Candide: The Accuracy of Candide
Voltaire is correct in Candide, where he argues that life on earth is hell in many ways. Voltaire accurately describes how selfish people often are and how they inflict misery on others as a result. Voltaire also describes accurately common forms of cruelty in society. Although he may be mistaken that all wars are equally senseless and avoidable, Voltaire is correct in showing that war inevitably produces atrocities, which makes for hell on earth.
In support of these statements, let?s examine Voltaire?s accurate description of human selfishness. An example would be the behavior of the sailor who Pangloss and Candide met on their voyage to Lisbon. This sailor was rescued from drowning by Jacques the Anabaptist. Yet when Jacques fell into the sea himself, the sailor refused to risk his own life to save him. As a result of this selfishness, Jacques died. Later on, when the sailor reached shore, he ignored the sufferings of people horribly injured by a recent earthquake. Instead the sailor took money from them in order to get drunk and hire a prostitute. This sailor was wholly self-centered and uncaring about anyone else and by not helping anybody out he in effect inflicted misery on them. When the terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centers, and many police and firemen were killed

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