It is safe to say the Voltaire's Candide has it's own fair share of misfortune and pessimism. This famous critique of Enlightenment philosophy has very few happy moments, and every ounce of optimism is tainted in one way or another by mishaps on the road to more unhappiness. Optimism was the prevailing feeling of the time however, and Enlightenment thought was very prevalent. If Voltaire would have subscribed to these feelings then Candide would have been a much different story. Perhaps Candide would have been welcomed into Cunégonde's family when their love was discovered. Candide quite possibly could have remained rich after his encounter with the people of El Dorado. Nothing better reflects anti-Enlightenment than Candide and Pangloss' trip to Lisbon. With a twist of hopeful feeling, Candide's adventures could have been much different, or they may not have been at all. .
Candide's voyage to Lisbon could not have gone much worse. "Half the passengers on board, weakened and near dead from those unimaginable spasms that the rolling of a ship can induce in every nerve and humour of the body by tossing them in opposite directions, did not even have the strength to worry about the danger."" Voltaire purposefully made this the most dreadful experience one could imagine, and then he continued to add more and more misfortunes (11). If this section were infused with Enlightenment theory, much of Candide's experience would never have happened. Philosophers of the time believed in control over fortunes and in some cases nature itself. In this respect the crew of the ship would not have any trouble facing the devastating storm that Voltaire had ravage the vessel. Certainly half of the passengers would not be facing death from the mere thrashing of a ship. An Enlightenment writer might not have even had the storm occur at all. .
Throughout the ordeal of the impending shipwreck the characteristics of human beings are revealed.