In Candide by Voltaire, what kind of narrator is Candide and can he be trusted?

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It is Candide's naivety and unfailing optimism that make him such a reliable narrator. There's no lying in him, and his remarkable honesty is an expression of his generally sunny outlook on life. His very name gives us a clue as to his chief personality trait. "Candide" does not mean "candid," but rather "naive," or "innocent." That being the case, there's no reason for us to suspect that our hero is keeping anything from us.

No matter how much adversity Candide encounters on his long, eventful journey, he still remains upbeat. Whether this is the appropriate attitude to hold in the face of such an endless litany of woes is a moot point, but there can be no doubting Candide's sincerity. And so we're as certain as we can be that Candide's account of events is largely accurate.

However, Candide's innocence also means that he lacks a little something in the way of knowledge. He is astonishingly ignorant of the ways of the world, and his ignorance all too often leads him into serious trouble....

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