Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Ironic, sarcastic, understated
Candide is known for being absolutely hilarious. Part of what makes it so funny is the deadpan, understated nature of Voltaire’s prose. Like any good comedian, Voltaire makes his jokes and moves on. This style is certainly mandated by the nature of his story, since trying to beat to death jokes about tragedy probably wouldn’t go over too well.