While some readers of Voltaire's Candide may hold that the correct answer to the .
question of whether or not Candide learns anything throughout the course of his journey is no, I .
am going to have to disagree with them. After reading the book from beginning to end, I found .
several instances that prove that Candide matures from a nave young man into a man who is .
able to think on his own without the influence of others. As Candide progresses in life, his eyes .
open and he becomes exposed to bad without good coming out of it. This allows him to become .
more independent and learn to form his own opinions.
For a long time throughout Candide's life, he believes strongly in optimism. This is not .
because he is forced to but because he is raised in that manner. Candide grows up as a nave and .
vulnerable child in his own secluded paradise where the only things he is exposed to is the .
brighter side of life and the idea that everything in the world happens for the better. He is always .
taught to believe that "since everything was made for a purpose, everything is necessarily for the .
best purpose.""(Candide, 18). These beliefs change when he is kicked out of the castle. This is .
the educational turning point in his life that allows him to experience a series of events he has .
never experienced before and would have probably never experienced if he would have remained .
in the castle.
The first instance that shows a spark of maturity in Candide is when he meets Dr. .
Pangloss for the first time, after being thrown out of the castle. Dr. Pangloss informs him that .
Bulgarian soldiers attacked the castle and killed Cunegonde, the object of Candide's affection. .
Candide responds by saying "Cunegonde is dead! Oh, best of all possible worlds, where are .
you?- (Candide, 25). This is when Candide begins to show doubt that only good comes out of .
life. This also occurs when Candide meets Pangloss for the second time and learns that Pangloss .