Quotes

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Reviewed on August 26, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 436

He form'd no Projects for making Silk Gloves and Stockings out of Spiders Webbs, nor of China-Ware out of broken Glass-Bottles; but he pry'd into the Nature and Properties of Animals and Plants, and soon, by his strict and repeated Enquiries, he was capable of discerning a Thousand Variations in visible Objects, that others, less curious, imagin'd were all alike.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Zadig Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Zadig devotes himself to philosophy after divorcing his first wife, Azora. He sees philosophy as a refuge from the disappointments of love and life. In this passage, Voltaire satirizes the philosophical pursuits of his times. During the Enlightenment, philosophers turned against unscientific pursuits such as alchemy (referred to in the quest to turn silk gloves into spiders' webs and make china out of glass bottles). Instead, they devoted themselves to classifying and understanding reality. Voltaire also satirizes this type of pursuit, as Zadig devotes himself to the tiresome and meaningless process of identifying the minute differences between similar objects.

Your greatest Uneasiness, said he, arose from the Narrowness of your Circumstances; but mine proceeds from an internal, and much deeper Cause.

Zadig encounters a fisherman who tells Zadig that he used to work as a maker of cream-cheeses but has fallen on bad times, as his wife has been stolen from him and his house destroyed. The fisherman's woes are merely financial, and Zadig gives him money to solve his problems. Zadig's problems, on the other hand, are psychological and philosophical in nature and therefore more difficult to solve. Though both men deal with the vicissitudes of fate, Zadig's problems are also related to losing the woman he...

(The entire section contains 436 words.)

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Zadig study guide. You'll get access to all of the Zadig content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

  • Summary
  • Themes
  • Characters
  • Analysis
  • Quotes
  • Critical Essays
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Previous

Analysis

Next

Critical Essays