Candide is a young man living a sheltered life in an Eden-like paradise, being indoctrinated with optimism. But when the lifestyle comes to an end, it is followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it. Today, Candide is recognised as Voltaire's masterpiece and is often listed as part of the Western canon; it is probably taught more than any other work of French literature.
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