Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Real life events play a part in Candide

After hearing some of the presentations in class today, it is really interesting how effectively Candide uses actual historical events that were going on during the time Candide was written.  For example, one group talked about what the Bulgars and the Abares stood for.  The Bulgars were the Prussians and the Abares were the French.  This makes perfect sense as Voltaire is alluding to the Seven Years' War that was going on during the time Candide was written from 1756-1763.  Voltaire is able to tie Candide's journey into real life events when he is forced to fight for the Bulgars (Prussians).  Voltaire basically writes Candide into the Seven Years' War and provides a tie between the novella and what was going on in the current times back in the 18th century.

4 comments:

Lindsay A said...

I don't know if I'd call the Bulgars and the Abares the best example of a historical reference because their names really can apply to any army and the point is still the same. But I think Ben's example in class of the General executed in England was a good example of how Voltaire wrote his piece to contain political and social criticism of his time period. Voltaire was deeply involved in the going-ons of his time and it would be inconsistent if Candide did not contain any important social references.

Tyler Dean said...

Yes those are just a few of the examples of his present day examples he gives.Others include the Archdeacon Trubulet and Gauchat reference, Vanderdur, and many others. These offer the reader extra details about the point voltaire is making and it sort of acts as prrof to the reader that the atrocities in the novella were really occurring in the world at the time. Voltaire uses instances like those to open peoples eyes to the realities of their society.

Michell D said...

I spent the entire debate talking about why Voltaire used historical context and why it is important to understand and focus on it. I agree with Lindsay when she said that the Bulgars and Abares were not the best example because the entire time I was debating I feared the point that war never changes, and the critique of war is applicable to many scenarios. I found it more interesting when he takes small pot shots at his enemies. It was like an 18th century dis, but in a book that everyone was reading and chuckling over the insult.

Ian J said...

In addition to historical references, there were also some aspects to the novella that were not historical references...let's not forget the Insider part of the debate, hmmm hmmmm (I was on that team). For example, it is obvious to the readers of “Candide” that when Voltaire makes a rude statement about the nobility of the caste of Thunder-Ten-Tronckh that he is being sarcastic and intends for the reader to see his satire. Also, Voltaire’s portrayal of Pangloss’s philosophy is a complete exaggeration and is obvious to readers that he is certainly making factious statements.

I by all means do not mean to rehash the debate, lol.