How does El Dorado, as depicted in Candide, conform to Rousseau’s theory of property?

How does El Dorado, as depicted in Candide, conform to Rousseau’s theory of property?

Voltaire views the land of Eldorado as being an ideal society that is free from inequality, oppression, greed, and suffering. The land highlights the unfortunate realities of the world that extends beyond itsborders. The land is too good and rare in reality. Both Cacambo and Candide view Eldorado as being unreal and decide to leave Eldorado. A deeperunderstanding of Eldorado can be attained by focusing on Rousseau’s theory on property. Rousseau defines property as anything that is legally accomplished and purports a legitimate claim. The theory further notes that might is not equitable to right thus implying that right cannot be attained through force.

The argument implies that a right has a moral element and is equally tied to legal codes. It is contractual, and one right applies to all persons. Once a right has been determined, Rousseauexplains that it must effectively be implemented for the benefit of all community members. Rather than focusing on an individual, the theory of property focuses on the wellness and interest of the generalsociety. The motivation creates a socialcontract among individuals leading to the formation of an ideal organization. Rousseau argues that a person standing alone is more vulnerable and inferior as compared to the general community.

The situation creates the need to combine the rights and interest of all society members thus minimizing instances of violations. Adherence to these laws creates a moral structure that determines the values and ideologies held by a society. Such an arrangement creates a right to property which is based on the concept of the“the right of the firstoccupant.” However, there must be no prior-inhibition as ownership to property must be based on need as opposed to greed. It implies that it is not permissible for an individual to take more land that they can work on. Secondly, Rousseau notes that an occupant must work on the property they claim.

On the other hand, the right to property of an individual is combined with that of the general society. The move ensures that all the occupantswork towards the betterment of the society.  These elements have been integrated into Eldorado to create an ideal society where the rights of all people are observed. Voltaire’s idea of a perfect community is based on values such as equality and transparency. The riches are divided equally among the inhabitants thus eliminating cases of oppression or greed. Eldorado uses its features and those of other lands to expound on the Rousseau’sTheory of property.  While Eldorado is painted as being a good society, it also becomes evident both Cacambo and Candide wants to leave the land.

In Chapter seven,there is a representation of elements that create a progressive and equitable society. Both Candide and Cacambo move to a village which they view as being different from other communities. Upon reaching the village, they find many children playing with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. After the schoolmaster summons the children, they leave all the diamonds on the ground. Their actions indicate that the village was free of greed and there was enough wealth for all villagers. Another example is the Eldorado’s inns which are free. Candide has the belief that this is the best place in the world.  The setting is unlike other societies which are marked by greed, dishonesty, and disputes.

In Chapter Eighteen, CandidaandCacambovisits an old man to learn more about Eldorado and its people. The old man explains that theresidents had vowed never to leave Eldorado as it offers the best opportunities. High mountains surroundEldorado thus protecting it from any conquests.  Unlike other parts of Europe that experience many conquest and conflicts, Eldorado is free from any dispute.  Additionally, Eldorado has one God thus creating religious unity where none of the members is persecuted.  When they ask to see the courts and the prisons after visiting the king, they learn that they do not exist.  Contrary to having prions, Eldorado has schools and institutions that are dedicated to philosophy and religion.

Despite having all things that made life comfortable, Candide decides that he cannot stay without Cunegonde and decides to leave Eldorado. While the king views the plan as being foolish, he chooses to let Candiade go. The ideas held by Rousseau can be traced in the novel through the actions of Candide and Pangloss who maintain that everything in the community is for the best interest of the society members. They argue that the existence of evil in the society would serve as an indication that God is not good. They thus hold that the argument that since God is perfect, all his creations must be perfect. Consequently, all activities in Eldorado are guided by moral obligations and legal codes.

Candide and Cacambo wish to move from Eldorado indicates that too much optimism can create a misrepresentation of reality. It is imperative to note that optimists such as Pangloss and Candide experience many suffering such as rape, torture and other evils. Crushing ennui, earthquakes, and other horrors serve to point the folly nature of humanity. They also highlight the indifference state of the natural world.  Just like Rousseau, Pangloss struggles to find a reason for the existence of many evils in the society. Additionally, the novel further creates the impression that the ideals held by Rousseau in the theory of property are only philosophical speculation.

They lack evidence that an ideal society that is free from oppression and other evils can exist. It is worth noting that philosophical speculation in the novel is painted as being both useless and destructive. The argument rests on the fact that it limits the characters from king realistic assessments and decisions. They also fail to make the required actions to make society a better place. Pangloss is one of the characters who is depicted as being vulnerable to this folly nature. Towards the end of the novel, Candide rejects the philosophies outlined by Pangloss and in turn advocates for ethics and hard work.  Voltaire further critiques the elements that are defined by Rousseau as making a good religion Voltaire. Throughout the novel, Voltaire focuses on different religious leaders, their philosophies and impacts on society.

An example is an encounter with the daughter of a priest who is expected to be celibate and refrain from initiate relationships. Despite the vow of poverty that is taken by the Franciscan order, it becomes evident that the priest had a close connection with a jewel thief. The setting indicates that there is greed in the society thus making it challenging to apply the theory of property effectively. Stealing creates a state of inequality and contradicts the set moral obligations. However, this is not the case in Eldorado as the community members have no raged for diamond or other precious minerals in the region. On the contrary, all resources are used for the good of all society members.

On the other hand, there is the presentation of other ethical characters and facilitates the application of the theory of property. An example is Jacques who is a humane and generous character. His action and those of other community members are based on a consideration of the interest and rights of other persons. The themes of money and corruption adequately explain the factors that lead to upholding or violating Rousseau’s theory of money. After acquiring a fortune in Eldorado, Candide is of the view that his problems are over.  He holds the view that he can bribe his way out of all situations.  However, he later notes that money has the effect of attracting false friends and enemies.

The themes and events that unfold in the novel indicate that the Rousseau’s view on the right to property is based on social contract. A social contract ensures that the mighty do not dominate on the vulnerable society members. It further prohibits greed and stress that right to property ought to be based on need as opposed to greed. Just like Eldorado, an ideal society is free from greed, infringement of human rights, suffering and persecution. While Eldorado fits into the description issued by Rousseau, the case does not apply to other societies as they are full of evils and suffering.

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