Critically discuss the significance of Optimism in Candide.

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Candide (1759), or Optimism, is a French satire written by Voltaire (1694 – 1778), a philosopher of the Enlightenment. Candide quickly became a bestseller of the European book trade in the eighteenth century; at least 20,000 copies of the book were sold within a month of its publication and, consequently, has become one of the key texts of the Enlightenment (Pearson 2008). In this essay, therefore, I will discuss Candide and its impact on the Age of the Enlightenment. In particular, I am going to critically discuss the significance of optimism in Candide, a major recurring theme in the novel that Voltaire attacks.

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