In Candide, Voltaire paints, with dangerous wit and insight, an illuminating portrayal of the human condition in humanity’s ceaseless evolution towards perfection. The novel chronicles the Kafkaesque journey of Candide, the story’s naïve hero, who is greatly influenced by his philosopher friend, Dr. Pangloss. Pangloss espouses the optimistic view that the world is essentially a perfect place and that everything that appears as brutish or evil is necessary as a stepping stone to a greater good. Everything happens because no other course of events is possible, and therefore, everything happens for the best. Every disaster, disease, incident, or tragedy that Candide encounters provides new evidence of the absurdity of this optimistic philosophical world view. In the end, however, Candide regains what was lost: his garden, his friends, and his love. Perhaps, Voltaire left it to his readers to determine whether there was any other path for Candide. May you, the reader, peer through Voltaire’s craftsmanlike use of satire to the ultimate lesson that, while beautiful, all the philosophy and knowledge in the world cannot save us. Ultimately, our hands must be prompt to execute the work, lest we devise in vain.