World Literature: The Curious Case of Candide and Cunegonde
teaches us to be aware of this relationship (i.e., we learn to hesitate). Critics become paranoid because Candide challenges our own systems of judgment. Cunegonde, which motivates the tale, as it is for an explorer's desire to climb a. Candide's love for Cunégonde is the driving force of his journey in the novel. The absurd lengths to which Candide goes to pursue his love, including. Candide and Pangloss arrive in Lisbon to find it destroyed by an earthquake and under the control of the Inquisition. Pangloss is soon hanged as a heretic, and.
His attentive characterization is androgynous and shatters gender norms, especially in context of the period in which the text was written, in This is evident from the exposition of the story.
Candide, throughout the entirety of the novel, exhibits countless qualities commonly attributed to femininity. Ascription of heavily gendered character traits to the wrong gender is a motif in the novel. For example, Cunegonde is much more verbal about her physical attraction to the opposite sex than Candide, even though one would expect the opposite.
This is evidenced by her commentary on the large build and beautiful complexion of her Jewish lover in Portugal, as well as her thoughts on Candide. By contrasting the traits of characters with opposite genders, it becomes clear that the relationship between men and women has been turned on its head.
Gender in Voltaire’s “Candide”
Shortly thereafter, she seduces Candide— notably not the other way around, as traditional gender norms would uphold— by dropping her handkerchief coyly. This motif does not strictly apply to Candide and Cunegonde, as well. Arguably, the old woman is the character who has suffered the most in her lifetime, yet she still has a flaming passion for life. This understanding of life is the same one shared by influential Enlightenment philosophers including David Hume and Voltaire himself.
Voltaire takes his critique of gender a level deeper by not only examining individual character traits with relation to gender, but also by using women as the sole catalysts for positive change within the novel. He turns traditional power relations between genders on their heads, by having women play more dominant roles than men in both their personal relationships and the central narrative of the novel. Clearly, from the very beginning, we are in the realm of satire. The message of leaving home and discovering the sad truths of adulthood, the process of growing up which we all must face, is the lesson Voltaire uses to teach Candide and us.
The Baron is furious and kicks Candide out of the earthly paradise of the castle — a status which the impressionable and horny young man will try to regain, along with his beloved cousin, during the rest of the book. Voltaire plays consciously with the biblical references to the loss of innocence and the life in the garden after sinning, or attempting to sin.
Leaving the protection and earthly delights of the castle literally throws Candide out into the world with no preparation and even less knowledge.
In any case, Candide embarks upon a series of adventures which teach him the hard way that life has its adventures and its difficulties.
Gender in Voltaire’s “Candide” – my blog :-)
The first of these is war. Absurdity reigns, and the best of all possible worlds has already been called into question. Many readers have noted that the book can be compared to a movie, a travelogue, a satirical treatise, and to me most significantly, a quite modern-seeming cartoon. During these adventures, he is always looking for what he has lost, particularly his garden home and his cousin, and also a clue as to what it all might mean.
This is complicated because his first and most revered teacher, Pangloss, is an idiot, and his lessons about the necessity of optimism run counter to almost everything that Candide sees and experiences from war to natural disasters and the Inquisition. There Candide finally finds a version of his lost sanctuary in the farm where he and the other survivors try to work out the famously ambiguous message of the book: What seems at first tragic becomes tragicomic and then, perhaps, ironically sad in that it is all there is and must be accepted.
Oseki finds herself in a situation that is new to her. She has been pushed to the brink in her marriage and is openly considering leaving her husband Isamu — valuing her personal identity more than that of her obligation to her family.
If she were to continue on she would be at risk of endangering everything. The love within her was battling each other. Her love for herself, or her early feminist views, are urging her to leave him — her push factor: He was inhuman, and she trembled at the thought of him and reeled against the lattice at the gate. Oseki goes to her parents out of tradition. Her love for her family was the overwhelming factor she had to which she had to abide.
In both of these texts, Candide and The Thirteenth Night, love does some very good things — but the benefits differ between the individual and the group. In Candide love drives the journey.
The same cannot be said for Oseki in The Thirteenth Night. The fact that she no longer loves Isamu is the impetus for this story.
Her love for them outweighed her love for herself. A similarity in the text is the course of love both relationships take. Both couples meet, fall in love, and both couples fall out of the passionate love that was once in their relationships.