Midway to nowhere: the refugee experience in Candide
Candide may be most commonly described as a satirical commentary on war, critiquing institutions of power, but perhaps its legacy is that Voltaire “showed war from the perspective of its victims and invited readers to empathize with their suffering” (Dobie 1853). Hundreds of years later, wars continue to rage and while the specifics of battles have changed, the stories of suffering experienced by non-combatants remain very similar. Since the Era of Enlightenment in which Voltaire wrote, more attention has been given to these innocent victims and the field of Refugee Studies has become part of academia. It can be argued that Candide is in fact, a novel that outlines the refugee experience and through the journey of Candide and his companions, Voltaire looks to evoke compassion in the reader for refugees of war.
Presented April 25, 2017 at the Interdisciplinary Dialogue Student Conference held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
All Rights Reserved