Don't Be a (Red) Sheep College

Throughout Voltaire’s Candide the reader was introduced to a wide variety of unique characters, each seemingly with their own philosophies and beliefs on how life should be viewed. Voltaire seems to stress through the development of the protagonist, Candide, just how influential the people we surround ourselves with are when it comes to shaping our own beliefs. Sometimes we completely agree with someone’s personal philosophy, while on the other hand detesting others we don’t agree with. I strongly believe that when Candide (Voltaire) states that “we must cultivate our garden” (Voltaire.96), he’s implying that we as individuals should think more for ourselves rather than solely base our beliefs on the thoughts of others.

Candide is perhaps the biggest culprit of being more of a follower than a leader in the sense of forming original thoughts on how the world (or even the universe) works. Granted, the privileged boy did grow up with Pangloss as a personal teacher and friend, he still desperately clung to the belief that “things cannot be otherwise, for, everything being made for an end, everything is necessarily for the best end” (2). Intrigued by the idea that he lives in a world where everything happens for a reason, the...

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