This is a comparison between the journeys in taken by the main characters in Candide and Arrowsmith.

Essay by Kal08High School, 12th gradeB+, November 2003

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A wise man once said, "Success is a journey, not a destination." Authors were using the idea of a journey before Homer wrote the Odyssey. This literary tradition has continued to the present. Two authors that embrace this idea are Voltaire and Sinclair Lewis. In their books Candide and Arrowsmith respectively, a man is followed on his trek through life and the discoveries that he makes along the way.

The two young men start out life as two completely different men. Martin Arrowsmith, the main character of Arrowsmith, begins life in the small town of Elk Mills in the state of Winnemac. Young Arrowsmith is different from the other boys. He has an intense curiosity that leads him to help out the local doctor during his free time instead of playing with the other boys. At one point the author comments, "Martin had one characteristic without which there could be no science: a wide-ranging, sniffing, snuffling, undignified, unself-dramatizing curiosity, and it drove him on" (Sinclair 280).

His stubbornness and lack of tact dooms him to insult, offend, and generally annoy those that surround him. Despite these strong characteristics, Arrowsmith often sways from his path and has to force himself to go back. He is constantly being tempted by fame, money, or even the pleasures of the flesh. Candide, the title character of Candide is very different from Arrowsmith. Candide is the bastard son of a baron's sister that is taken in by that very same baron. Candide has an "unaffected simplicity" that causes him to be naïve to the ways of the world (Voltaire 19). His tutor, Pangloss, easily persuades Candide to his philosophy in life of everything happening for the best. Candide takes this philosophy to heart, even though he really does not understand it and relies...