Mike you made a good point in class earlier today. It is quite ironic that the sea that saves one, according to Anabaptist beliefs, is also the sea that takes his life.
The existential question, " -how can He be absolved of the charge of deliberate malice toward His creatures?" This thought not only confronts Christianity, but Candide and the torment that follows him through his journey.
In my opinion, Candide's ethnocentrism/ignorance is due to the Occasionalistic belief that Robert Adam critics about in his summary. Adam refers to God as a remote clock-maker, and humans serve only a pre-determined role in His operation. It is sad to think that all actions humans do were premeditated by an omnipotent God.
Makes me wonder, if true, if I actually know anything of my own..
Racism is underlined while the old woman tells her story of when she was held captive on a pirate ship and was raped by an "abominable negro". She then contrasts those of Morocco to Europeans and chastises those not of her own. When she is saved by a "white man", he is by her tainted view "rather attractive". This is evidence that racism fuels to the ethnocentristic view that the character holds.
Black vs. White, Evil vs. Good, Hell vs. Heaven, Satan vs. God. The correlation between the two are covert statements of race and religion within the text.