Voltaire's Candide as an Early Critique of Globalization College

Voltaire’sCandideis more than an example of Enlightenment philosophy meeting Enlightenment-era fiction. It needs to be set into the context of the broader historical and global era in which it was produced. This essay explores how Candideis an example of the global cross-pollination that occurred in the early modern era, as well as how, despite its status as a work of fiction, it incorporates a variety of real history. The essay also examines Candideas an act of protest against the globalization that was occurring during the time of its authorship. Candidecould not have been written without the great cross-cultural connections and changes that occurred during the period of the First Globalization.

During the era of the First Globalization, material goods were exchanged between Europe and Asia – and ideas were exchanged, as well. Candide, as a character, exemplifies the newly opened trade routes as the winds of fate blow him from Westphalia to Holland to Portugal to Paraguay to Buenos Aires to “Eldorado,” and then back to France. Instead of merely trading spices and philosophies, though, Candide exists as a character whose travels and travails are affected by an assortment of characters. The global scope of the story exemplifies...

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