1) Candide learns that while being optimistic is a useful trait, it will not help you in being successful. He learns that in order to have the “best of all possible worlds” he must work hard, because it will not just come to him. Candide has rejected Pangloss’ philosophy in exchange for hard, practical work.
2) Voltaire is correct in his theory that optimism blinds a person from the real life obstacles one must face. Life is not perfect because a person says it is; a person must experience life before you make assumptions about it.
3) Evidence: “Candide, amazed, terrified, confounded, astonished, all bloody, and trembling from head to foot, said to himself, ‘If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others”(29)? -Candide, in the beginning, is confused why he is being tortured if he is in the best of all worlds. Candide has put so much trust in Pangloss that he does not know what to believe. He has started to doubt that everything in the world is for the best that things cannot be otherwise: for, since everything was made for a purpose, everything is necessarily for the purpose…all is for the best”(16).
Pangloss, the true optimist of the story, is so set on his philosophy that he refuses to see what is really going on in the world. His optimism nearly destroys him, and even when he is almost killed, he still believes everything happens for the best.. “But there is some good in the world’ replied Candide. ‘Perhaps so, but I haven’t seen it’ (73). -Martin is the true pessimist of the story. Martin, unlike Candide, has traveled the world and knows that life does not always happen for the best. Candide struggles with Martin’s viewpoints, and is unable to convince him about the joys of optimism.
4) This view of optimism is very much relevant in society today. Many people strive on optimism and think that it is the key to happiness. People today still insist all is well when it is really is not. Today, optimism can be used as a defense mechanism in order to feel better about themselves and their lives.