Candide is the writer Voltaire’s bitter but humorous criticism of power, wealth, religion and, of all things, optimism. The story follows the adventures of Candide, a young man in love with a woman of a much higher social class. When their love is thwarted, Candide lives through a series of ludicrously awful events in order to be reunited with his sweetheart.
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "R" is for "remarkable")
Now, here’s a piercingly sad story if there ever was one.
It’s the remarkable tale of a young fellow who had all kinds of luck, most of it bad.
Funny thing; thanks to a generous noble patron, a baron, he grew up in comfort in a wealthy home and he had a fleshy tutor who had a very positive view of things. He tried to instill in the young guy a belief that this old world is pretty great and whatever happens is for the best.
For a while that seemed to be true. Our boy fell in love with the baron’s beautiful daughter and went so far as to kiss her once, but this got him kicked out of the house.
From there things sort of went clean downhill.
He was drafted into the army and got beaten regularly, so he went AWOL. While he was on the run he saw his old tutor, the whatever-happens-is-for-the-best guy, who now had an STD and was begging in the street.
To top things off, he learned that the love of his life, the baron’s daughter, had been killed by enemy soldiers.
This would have discouraged just about anyone, but the young dude decided to go on. He went to Portugal, for some reason, and arrived just as a massive earthquake, one of the largest in history, kind of wiped out the entire place.
But it wasn’t all bad. He learned the good news that his girlfriend had survived the murder attempt; the bad news was that she had become a slave in Turkey.
And you think you have problems.
Anyway, in his peregrinations our boy had managed to accumulate quite a few pesetas, francs, marks and whatever, so he was able to go to Turkey and buy his girl’s freedom. However, what with all she had been through she was pretty much a wreck.
The remarkable end to their story? They bought a small property and spent all their time doing farm work; somehow this made them happy.
Please give us the name of the young guy. (If you want to also give us the name of the girl as well as the name of the author of this incredible story, pray do so.)
The answer will be posted Saturday.