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Topic 1:

After reading Candide, write a paper comparing the optimistic philosophy of Pangloss with the pessimism of Martin. Explain how Voltaire uses this contrast to challenge the assumptions of the Age of Reason. Note how Voltaire attacks philosophical reasoning generally, along with the irrationality of organized religion.



Topic 2:

Google “The Swing” and “Nude on a Sofa” by Rococo artists Fragonard and Boucher, and the neoclassical works “The Oath of the Horatii” and “La Grande Odalisque” by David and Ingres. Write a paper contrasting the amoral decadence and excess of the Rococo painters with the more serious and refined works of the Neoclassicists. Connect Rococo to the reign of Louis XVI and Neoclassicism to the rise of the philosophes and revolutionaries in France.

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