Orgon’s paradise with Tartuffe is torn apart when he witnesses Tartuffe’s affection for Elmire, Orgon’s wife (142-145). This is a rare case where one paradise is replaced by another: Orgon’s relationship with Tartuffe is destroyed, but it is offset by Orgon slipping out of Tartuffe’s net of deception. Tartuffe is not so lucky, though. He replaced Damis as Orgon’s son and received promises of an inheritance (136-137), but Orgon discovered Tartuffe’s plot to steal his wife and everything else under his name (142-145). The comedy ends with Tartuffe being sent to prison (154). His paradise in Orgon’s household is replaced by the misfortune of imprisonment. The last representative example is Candide, by Voltaire. The young gentleman Candide lives a rollercoaster of a life that revolves around Cunégonde—daughter of a baron in Westphalia and the woman Candide loves more than life itself. But when he is found in an affectionate state with Cunégonde, Candide is kicked out of the Baron’s castle for his display of affection (Voltaire 187). Candide faces and overcomes many trials (188-194) and is reunited with Cunégonde after she and her companion rescue him from the Inquisition. Candide is so overcome with emotion when he sees Cunégonde once more that “[h]is knees give way, speech fails him, he falls at her feet” (Voltaire 195). As one might expect, the two lovers are separated again when the governor of Buenos Aires takes an interest in Cunégonde (205). For a third and final time, Candide and Cunégonde are united when he finds his love working for a prince in Propontis, Transylvania. The two are fortunate enough to remain together, but Cunégonde has lost her beauty, which was the greatest factor in Candide’s attraction to her. Every time Candide was with his precious Cunégonde, he was in paradise, but there was always an enemy waiting to invade. Even when the two are brought together in the end, Cunégonde’s homeliness destroys that paradise (243). The mountain tops that people achieve aren’t reached by chance. Many factors exist in climbing the totem pole. People must first master their state of mind before they can find a paradise. Having a positive outlook can drastically improve the chances of finding happiness. An example of this is the primate clan in Monkey. The troop decides to go on an adventure and follow a stream to its source. Granted, the primates do this because they have nothing else to occupy their time (Ch’eng-en 42), but their desire to explore and enjoy their surroundings brings them to a
Art and literary journal of University of Jamestown, Jamestown, N.D.