Please answer 3 questions, each for 150-200 words.
1.Whose Story is this Anyway?
Voltaire employs a technique called “diegesis” in the novel — the story is often told to us by a narrator rather than shown through action. But he uses it in an interesting way — we don’t get just one narrator. Characters will often take over the story, interrupting the main narrator to tell their own stories.
In your post, reflect on the impact of this on the novel. How does it reflect Voltaire’s challenge to the belief that ultimate knowledge is held by a single autority, such as the Church?
One place visited by Candided is Eldorado — a Utopian society. Utopias have a long history in philosophy and literature — philosophers love to describe how their theories would play out in the “real” world by describing a society in which they dominate. Utopias also became the target of satires, such as Land of the Houyhnhms in Gulliver’s Travels. It’s appearance in a novel like Candide is just a little bit odd, given that Voltaire’s ultimate point is that there is no perfect world.
In your post, describe Eldorado and speculate about why you think it’s included in the novel. Why does Candide leave it?
3.Is It a Man’s World?
Last week we explored a bit of the nascent feminist movement during the Enlightenment. In your post, reflect on the role of women in the novel — how does their experience differ from that of the men? What do you think this says about society as viewed by Voltaire?