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Compare and Contrast Candide and Siddhartha

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Name: Man Cong Duong (Nathan) Class: English 4 Period: 7 Compare and Contrast Candide and Siddhartha Religions and philosophy guides most people’s lives and helps them when they fall to evils. Voltaire and Hesse, who are the authors of Candide and Siddhartha, provide us their different perspectives of life’s path. Candide was written as a book that is more satirical of the Optimism and religion. After Candide gets kicked out of the paradise where his lover, Cunégonde, lives, the Bulgars let him have dinner with them and pay for him but then, they hit him because he doesn’t admire their King. “That’s what men are for, to help each other.” (Voltaire 23). Siddhartha has a different view that is more pessimistic. When Siddhartha ends up living by the river and is left by his son, he understands his father’s feelings when Siddhartha wanted to leave the house to find his own knowledge as his son left because of his anger. “And he recollected how, long ago, as a youth, he had compelled his father to let him join the penitents… Had not his father suffered the same sorrow over him that he was now suffering over his son? ...read more.


Otherwise, Hermann Hesse shows us different perspectives in Siddhartha of human suffering, desire, knowledge. The book?s perspective is more pessimistic. Buddhism is a religion in the book that connects to the main character. Siddhartha tries to end the suffering, desire, and achieve knowledge of the inner self, so he decided to leave his family to go with the samanas: ?Tomorrow morning, my friend, Siddhartha will go to the samanas. He will become a samana.? (Hesse 5). Moreover, he thinks that no one can teach others to attain nirvana; no one can guide us, but our own self. He meets the Buddha and listens to him speak, but he still doesn?t follow the Buddha because he believes the Buddha can?t reach him to become nirvana. Although he wants to end suffering and desire, he is human so he falls from his goal when he meets Kamala, a beautiful courtesan. Siddhartha learns from Kamala the art of love, and then he learns to gamble, he learns to drink wine, and he learns to watch dancing girls. He loses his calmness, he loses his laugh when he loses the game, and he forgets his goal. ...read more.


No one can teach others what suffering is, no one can teach others how to end suffering, and no one can help others to attain the nirvana. Yes, they can teach others the skills, but people have to pass through the suffering in order to know them and end them. Nevertheless, what goes around comes around is what we expect in real life because whatever we do, we will get it back. If we do good things, we will get good things back, but otherwise, good will not come. Candide and Siddhartha were written about human suffering and desire, but their perspectives are different because of the two writers? cultural backgrounds. Candide is more satirical of the Optimism and religion, focusing on Western wars and greed for power. Meanwhile, Siddhartha is more a look at the rise of Buddhism. Voltaire?s message is: Work for your own goals. In the contrast, Hesse uses Siddhartha?s life to express human suffering and desire and related it to Buddhism?s philosophy ?No desire, no suffering.? However, these books show what real human beings are. Greed, suffering, and desire are things that human beings always have, and these temptations pull us away from attaining a knowledge of self and discovering contentment. ...read more.

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