Thursday, January 17, 2008
Throughout the story, it seems that Voltaire shows contempt for every philosophy, religion, or social structure that he can fit in. At the end, with all the characters back together at the farm with each one having a special talent that they can use. Voltaire criticizes everything, but when it is time for all the characters to finally become enlightened they are just stuck on some poor farm doing menial labor for the rest of their lives. Is this more noble and exciting than what the characters have gone through? The old woman asks this question, and there is no answer. Voltaire, throughout the story, showed little disdain for Martin and his philosophy. According to Martin, mankind either suffers greatly or is greatly bored. Even in the end, Pangloss admits he never believed a word of what he was saying. Voltaire seems to be extremely pessimistic and is really quite depressing. In the end, Voltaire contended that everybody was wrong in what they believed, but himself never gave a viable alternative. This was extremely effective, however, in getting me to think about a number of different philosophies.