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role of providence

The Role of Providence in Candide and Survival in Auschwitz Providence is a main theme in Candide, by Voltaire, and Survival in Auschwitz, by Primo Levi. The word providence literally means foresight, but is generally used to denote Gods preserving and governing all things by means of second causes. Voltaire pokes fun at the notion of providence and mocks the philosopher, Liebniz, for his belief that all things that happen are for the very best. Voltaire uses several characters to portray a different point of view, some are supporters of Liebniz philosophy, and others are not. Primo Levi, attacks the idea of providence in a different way, because he finds that some things that happen in the concentration camp to be contradictory to the notion that everything that happens is for the best. In Candide, and Survival in Auschwitz, the authors address the role of providence in different ways, Voltaire simply mocks it, while Levi questions it, yet they both agree that the best can not come out of anything except through effort and work.Candide begins with the character of Pangloss, who agrees with the notion of providence. He teaches his student Candide that everything happens for the best, no matter what. As the story continues natural disasters and unfortunate events occur and Pangloss is left homeless and ill with pox. Pangloss justifies his wretched state by claiming pox is a good thing because with out it there would be no chocolate because the New World introduced both of them to Europe. Voltaire is quick to point out that he does not believe that the fate of Pangloss is a result of providence. He also mocks the positive attitude of Pangloss by showing how convoluted and irrational his theory is. It is obvious that the pox has absolutely nothing to do with chocolate, so there is no support for his reasoning. Voltaire exposes the emptiness in of what Pangloss believes. The story continues with Pangloss, Candide, and others ...

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