The book had a new but rather depressing look on human life, breaking all stereotypes of a main characters overcoming all adversities. Readers tend to find the constant suffering of a main character unenjoyable and repetitive, but this book embraces this head-on, and never gives Candide nor the side characters any sense of peace throughout the duration of the book (excluding the ending).
I found the philosophies discussed even more interesting. ‘This world being the best of all possible worlds'(pg.,43). Those were the words fed to Candide by Pangloss, and it seemed to be a sugarcoating to avoid the inevitable sense of nihilism. But as we soon see, this belief begins to slowly crack and crumble, with each unnecessary adversary Candide is put through, he begins to lose faith and comes round to Martin’s ideology. Martin believes that God has abandoned this world and it is now overrun with evil and corruption. Now, the main difference between Pangloss and Martin’s philosophies is Martin’s direct experience comes into play and influences his ideology, while Pangloss, an optimist, bases his on what he wishes, what should be.
The ending sticks out a lot as well. It seems that even after Candide has gotten what he wishes for, he is still unhappy. It’s not as he imagined and his suffering continues. Martin, Pangloss and Candide are unable to create a suitable answer and go visit an Imam in hopes of an answer. The imam tells them the answer is to keep busy and work. Work keeps the mind free of evil. It keeps the body fatigued and occupied, the mind is filled with ambition and kept running and active, and the soul is kept fired with lasting passion.