Friday, November 30, 2012

Go On, Candide, Go On

Okay, I don't know if any of you have seen the TV show Go On (they had a bunch of commercials for it during the Olympics), but basically it's a TV show about a help group. The main character comes in and decides they should have a competition to see who has the most unfortunate story because all humans, when we hear people tell their sad stories, we are all secretly thinking our story is worse. I get the same feeling from Candide where Cunegonde says she is the most unfortunate being and then the old woman say "Nope, that would be me." Then on the ship Candide has a competition to see who has the most unfortunate story and he pays for the fare of the person who is most miserable (Martin). I feel like Voltaire is also making a point that while we hate suffering, we want our suffering to be worse than anyone else's. 

1 comment:

Madeline Davis said...

I agree. It seems that Voltaire is satirizing human nature's ability to make a selfish competition out of something that should be solemn and respected. Generally, Voltaire didn't seem to have very much faith in humanity. Also, I think Voltaire's commentary on these competitions refers to his view on the skewed concept that humans have of right and wrong. Relating back to his chapter on cannibalism compared with the European barbarism, the Europeans perceived the cannibal's actions as being far worse than their own, when in reality, the European's brutality and lack of compassion should have been seen as far more harsh than the cannibals.

And I've never seen Go On, but I love Matthew Perry.