Candide

RORY: And I finished Candide

Candide is a 1759 satirical picaresque novella by the French philosopher Voltaire. It is about a young man named Candide, living a sheltered life in an Eden-like paradise, taught to live a life of optimism by his mentor, Professor Pangloss, who teaches that we live in “the best of all possible worlds”. This life abruptly ceases, and the story details the slow disillusionment of the simple Candide as he witnesses and experienced terrible hardships. By the end, if he has not exactly rejected optimism, he has cautiously adopted a more pragmatic approach to life.

Sharply witty, insightful, fantastical, bitter, and matter-of-fact, Candide parodies the adventure and romance genres, as well as the coming-of-age novel. It is considered Voltaire’s greatest work, and has been often mimicked and parodied. Considered part of the Western canon, it is often taught in high schools and colleges.

You can see Rory as a parallel to Candide – raised in the sheltered Eden-like paradise of Stars Hollow, with the vivacious Lorelai raising her to believe she can do anything with enough self-belief, hard work, and Gilmore ability to argue that the usual rules don’t apply to her. Will Rory become increasingly disillusioned with the difficulties of the outside world once she leaves Stars Hollow?

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