Title: candide
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BARRON'S BOOK NOTES VOLTAIRE'S CANDIDE ^^^^^^^^^^VOLTAIRE: THE AUTHOR AND HIS TIMES In 1755 the city of Lisbon, Portugal, was leveled by a tremendous earthquake. More than 30,000 people were killed. The event, which shocked Europe, had an especially profound effect on Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire. Voltaire, then nearly 61, was the leading French man of letters and one of the most influential figures of his time. His first reaction to the tragedy was the moving and angry "Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon," written in the weeks after the earthquake. Four years later, in 1759, a second fruit of Voltaire's reflections on this tragedy was published. It was his comic masterpiece, Candide. Voltaire had long opposed the extreme optimism of many people of his time that was expressed in the belief that this is the "best of all possible worlds" and that all that happens is for the best. How could the loss of more than 30,000 lives in an earthquake be for the best? What place did the slaughter of the Seven Years War that ravaged Europe from 1756 to 1763 have in the best of all possible worlds? Voltaire's discussion of these questions can be found in Candide, his satirical, witty attack on optimism. In this fast-moving philosophical tale of the young, innocent Candide's education in life, horror succeeds horror and catastrophe follows catastrophe until he eventually gives up his early optimistic views. To show how ridiculous he thought it was to be ever cheerful in the face of disaster, Voltaire used the technique of satire. Through exaggeration--the great number and extreme nature of the misfortunes that befall the characters--satire makes optimism seem not only preposterous, but also smug and self-righteous. However, the optimism that Voltaire attacked was not the optimism we usually think of. When you say that people are optimistic, you mean that they have a hopeful attitude toward life and the future. In Voltaire's time, optimism had been turned into a philosophical system that believed everything already was for the best, no matter how terrible it seemed. This was a fatalistic and complacent philosophy that denied any need for change. To a man like Voltaire who believed in working to achieve a more just and humane society, philosophical optimism was an enemy. By the time Voltaire wrote Candide, he had already established his reputation as a writer and thinker. Most people today believe that Candide is Voltaire's greatest work. But to the readers of his own time, Candide was merely one in a long series of great achievements. Voltaire was celebrated as a poet and dramatist, as a philosopher, and as a commentator on the ills and hypocrisies of society. In whatever capacity he exercised his pen, he was famous throughout Europe for his wit and intelligence. A controversial figure, Voltaire was both idolized and despised. His outspoken views on religion and politics were frequently in conflict with established opinions and caused him great difficulty with the censors. The publication of Candide followed a typical pattern for Voltaire's works. It was published under an assumed name, to avoid prosecution. It was eagerly read by the public and sold as quickly as it could be printed. And it was condemned by the censors. In 18th-century France, censorship, and the royal permission required to publish anything, were powerful tools used by the state to inhibit criticism of the government or the Church. And punishment took not only the form of public book burning or fines. Writers were imprisoned or exiled for their views. Voltaire himself was sentenced to the notorious Paris prison, the Bastille, twice and spent much of his adult life in exile from the Paris where he had been born in 1694. Although Voltaire's father wanted him to study law, the young man preferred literature and began writing at an early age. His first major successes were the drama Oedipe (1718) and the epic poem La Henriade (1723). These brought him international fame as a writer of great style and wit and a reputation as a critic of contemporary society. Already present in these early works were the controversial themes that were to dominate his writing--his criticisms of religion and society, his pleas for freedom and religious tolerance. Voltaire's wit brought him trouble as well as fame. He was sent to the Bastille in 1717, accused of writing a poem satirizing the Duke of Orleans (he in fact didn't write the poem in question, although he had written others in a similar vein). His second term of imprisonment came in 1726, after a quarrel with a nobleman, the Chevalier de Rohan. After his second stay in prison, Voltaire was exiled to England. In England, he taught himself English well enough to write and converse. He met many of the leading British literary and political figures of the day--the poet and satirist Alexander Pope (1688-1744); the satirist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745); the prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole (1676-1745). He admired both Swift and Pope (later, however, he was to criticize Pope's optimistic philosophy in both the "Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon" and Candide). He read the works of the great mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) and the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), both of whom greatly influenced Voltaire's intellectual development. But what impressed Voltaire most during his stay in England was the relative freedom to speak and write as one pleased. Throughout his life, he spoke highly of English freedoms, which had no equivalent in his own country. After his return to France, Voltaire continued his career as a dramatist and poet. His success brought him considerable influence outside literary circles. Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786) was an admirer of his, as was Catherine the Great of Russia (1729-1796). Both monarchs, considering themselves "enlightened," looked to Voltaire for guidance in their studies, since they wished to be known as "philosopher-rulers" (the term used by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato in the Republic, his description of the ideal state and ruler). As a leading intellectual, Voltaire was courted, if not always heeded. In France, Voltaire's troubles with the authorities continued. Despite a brief time as historiographer of France (a court appointment), he was generally, because of his irrepressible outspokenness, "in exile," denied permission to live in Paris. Among his many exiles, one was to have a great importance in his intellectual and emotional life, his exile at Cirey, in the province of Champagne, the home of the Marquise du Chatelet. Voltaire's love affair with Emilie du Chatelet lasted from 1733 until her death, in 1749. She was Voltaire's mistress and intellectual companion. With Emilie, a noted mathematician, he studied philosophy, in particular Locke and Newton, and science. She was a follower of the optimist philosophy of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, which Voltaire later criticized harshly in Candide. But while he lived with Emilie, he entertained a less critical attitude toward optimism. After Emilie's death, Voltaire spent three uneasy years at the court of Frederick the Great at Potsdam, near Berlin. In 1758, after brief stays in several other cities, he settled in Ferney, on French soil, near Geneva. Not too long afterwards, Candide was published. Voltaire remained at Ferney, writing, farming, and promoting local industries, until a few months before his death, in Paris, in 1778. Shortly before he died, he was publicly honored at a performance of his drama Irene. But even his death was accompanied by controversy. In order to prevent the Church from denying the writer Christian burial, his nephew smuggled Voltaire's body out of Paris. Despite the author's desire for Christian burial, he had long been in conflict with the Church. The Roman Catholic Church was, after the monarchy, the second great power in France. Voltaire's quarrel with ecclesiastical authority was even stronger than his quarrel with the political authorities. He saw the Church as the defender of superstition, a conservative force standing in the way of rational solutions to problems. He believed that the Church promoted fanaticism and intolerance. Voltaire's lifetime was an age of great kings. Not all, like Frederick and Catherine, aspired to the reputation of philosopher-ruler. But all aspired to absolute power. Voltaire was born in the reign of Louis XIV, the "Sun King" (1638-1715), who established France as the strongest power in Europe and marked the splendor of his reign by building the palace of Versailles, outside of Paris. During most of Voltaire's life, however, France was ruled by Louis XV (1710-1774), who sought unsuccessfully to increase France's dominance. Although Voltaire did not oppose the idea of monarchy, he frequently criticized the corruption and abuses of power of the court. Voltaire's career was not aimed merely at destroying intolerance and injustice through satire. His work had a positive force--for the betterment of society, for the spread of knowledge as a way of fighting prejudice ("opinion without judgment") and intolerance, whether social, religious, or racial. And Voltaire was not alone in his work. The 18th century was not only a period of great absolute monarchs but also the age of the Enlightenment. All across Europe, such writers and thinkers as Denis Diderot (1713-1784) and Jean La Rond d'Alembert (1717-1783) in France, Cesare Beccaria (1735?-1794) in Italy, and Gotthold Lessing (1729-1781) in Germany were speaking out about the need for rational solutions to problems and for freedom of thought and speech. While the Enlightenment meant different things in each country, certain general beliefs united these apostles of reason who called themselves philosophes. They believed in the need for scientific inquiry free from religious prejudices. The Enlightenment was a secular movement--that is, it opposed the efforts of religion to limit man's inquiries in science, in politics, and in the law. Today, science is rarely limited by the need to justify itself in religious terms. But in the 18th century, any thought that might call into doubt biblical authority or Church dogma was suspect. The French philosophes (philosophers) sought to free mankind from such confines. The philosophes were defenders of freedom--freedom of thought, of speech, of religious choice, even of taste. They believed in the power of the human mind. As their general beliefs became more widely accepted, they also turned to specific reforms--legal and prison reform, economic improvement, political liberalization. Today, these goals may seem modest, but in the 18th century they represented a revolution in thought. Voltaire was regarded by many as the leading philosophe. In Candide, he may be seen at his wittiest. Candide can be read with as great enjoyment today as it was in the author's own time. Some references may be obscure to contemporary readers, but the humor and the liveliness of Voltaire's style make this story a genuine treat. The abuses he exposes may take different forms today, but religious intolerance and denial of freedom are not problems exclusive to Voltaire's time. And everyone, like Candide, must make his own journey from youth to maturity, from naivete to wisdom. In Candide, Voltaire has given the reader a portrait of his own age and a timeless story, both entertaining and enlightening. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: THE PLOT Candide, a young man educated by the optimist philosopher Pangloss, believes that he is living in "the best of all possible worlds." This world is Westphalia--more specifically, the castle of the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. (Voltaire here is making fun of the pompous names of many German petty nobles of the time.) The other members of the baron's household are his wife, his son, and his beautiful daughter, Cunegonde. Candide's happy world is disrupted when he is booted out the door for having the nerve to kiss Cunegonde. Alone, penniless, and hungry, Candide is aided by two strangers who proceed to enroll him in the Bulgar army. After many troubles, Candide deserts and makes his way to Holland. Here, he is again aided, this time sincerely, by an honest merchant named Jacques. Walking through town one day, Candide meets his old teacher, Pangloss. Pangloss tells Candide that the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh has been destroyed and its inhabitants have been savagely murdered. The philosopher himself is afflicted with the pox (syphilis) and has no money for a doctor. Jacques has Pangloss cured and gives him and Candide jobs. Two months later, Pangloss, Jacques, and Candide set sail for Lisbon on business. Unfortunately, they are shipwrecked and Jacques is killed. Pangloss and Candide reach land just in time to experience the disastrous Lisbon earthquake. At a dinner for the survivors, Pangloss is questioned about his philosophical beliefs. His responses cause Pangloss and Candide to be arrested by the Inquisition. Pangloss's beliefs smack of heresy, and it was the Inquisition's job to stamp out heresy. The Inquisition has planned a public execution of heretics to prevent further earthquakes. Candide and Pangloss are selected to be among the victims. Pangloss is hanged, but Candide, who only listened to heresy, is merely beaten and set free. As he leaves, Candide is stopped by an old woman, who first heals his wounds and then brings him to her mistress, Cunegonde. Cunegonde tells the story of her escape from death and the adventures that brought her to Lisbon. Her tale is interrupted by the arrival of one of her patrons, Don Issachar, a Jewish merchant. Don Issachar lunges at Candide, who stabs and kills him. Barely has Candide had time to wipe his sword than Cunegonde's second patron, the Grand Inquisitor, arrives. Candide kills him, too, and on the advice of the old woman he, she, and Cunegonde take flight to Cadiz, Spain, where Candide is made a captain in the army being sent to fight the Jesuits in Paraguay. All three depart for the New World. During the long voyage to Buenos Aires, the old woman tells her story. Like Cunegonde, she had once been a beautiful and desirable woman, betrothed to an Italian prince. After the murder of her fiance, she was captured by pirates, raped, and passed from one man to another across northern Africa. Finally, as her beauty faded, she became a servant, ending up in the household of Don Issachar. When they arrive in Buenos Aires, the trio discover that they are being followed by the Spanish police, who are searching for the murderer of the Grand Inquisitor. Candide and his servant, Cacambo, leave Buenos Aires, hoping to find work as soldiers for the Jesuits this time. Cunegonde and the old woman remain in the city with the governor, who has taken a fancy to Cunegonde. At the Jesuit camp, Candide meets the commander of the Jesuits, who is none other than Cunegonde's brother, the young baron. The happy reunion is ended when the baron refuses to allow Candide to marry his sister. Candide promptly stabs him, puts on the Jesuit's robe, and again takes flight with his faithful servant. As he travels across Paraguay, Candide's adventures multiply. He is nearly eaten by the local Biglug Indians. Fortunately, however, as he has killed one of the Jesuits, the enemy of the Biglugs, he is set free and allowed to continue on his journey. The journey is interrupted when Candide and Cacambo set themselves adrift in a canoe on an unknown river. The raging river carries them along. They crash on the shores of Eldorado, the golden country, where even the mud is gold and the pebbles in the road are diamonds and emeralds. In Eldorado, Candide and Cacambo enjoy the hospitality of the Eldoradans, a peaceful, kindly people. After six weeks, the travelers are eager to leave. With the wealth they will be able to take back to Europe, they can live like kings, while in Eldorado they are just like everyone else. The king of Eldorado does not understand their reasoning, but he generously helps Candide and Cacambo to leave and presents them with a hundred red sheep, each one loaded with gold, diamonds, and provisions for the journey. On their way to Surinam, on the northern coast, where they hope to find a ship for Europe, Candide and Cacambo lose all but two of the sheep. Once in Surinam, the two separate. Cacambo heads for Buenos Aires to ransom Cunegonde, while Candide looks for a ship to take him to Venice. Once again, Candide falls on hard times. He is swindled out of his last two sheep and is left with only the diamonds in his pockets. By now, he is disillusioned and seriously questions Pangloss's optimist philosophy of life. He wants only to leave South America and wait for Cunegonde in Venice. He picks a companion, Martin the scholar, from among the most miserable souls in Surinam and leaves for Europe. Martin and Candide philosophize on their way across the ocean. The ship docks in Bordeaux, whereupon Candide, impelled by his curiosity, heads for Paris, a city he's heard much about. Again, the naive Candide is swindled; moreover, Paris being Paris, he is unfaithful to Cunegonde. With his supply of diamonds shrinking fast, he runs from Paris and sets sail for Venice. In view of all his trials, Candide is feeling quite sorry for himself, but he clings to the hope of finding Cunegonde. He lingers in Venice, meeting Paquette, Baroness Thunder-ten-tronckh's former maid, and Paquette's lover, Brother Giroflee. Just as Candide is about to despair completely of ever hearing from his beloved Cunegonde, Cacambo, now a slave, appears and informs him that she is in Turkey. Candide, therefore, must be ready to sail immediately to Constantinople (Istanbul) with Cacambo and his new master. But he must ransom Cacambo in Constantinople before they can go on to find Cunegonde. After Candide has ransomed Cacambo, they set sail for the nearby shores of Propontis (Sea of Marmara) to locate Cunegonde. Among the galley slaves are two familiar faces, Pangloss and the young baron. Both have miraculously survived. To Constantinople they all go. Candide ransoms Pangloss and the young baron, and then, many diamonds lighter, they sail on to Propontis and Cunegonde. Cacambo reports that Cunegonde not only has become a servant but has grown hideously ugly. Candide thereupon feels somewhat less enthusiastic about marrying her, but resolves to keep his promise. When they arrive in Propontis, he finds that Cacambo's description is not exaggerated, but he ransoms Cunegonde and the old woman nonetheless. He then marries Cunegonde over the objections of her brother, whom he ships back to the galley. With the last of his diamonds, he buys a farm. Paquette and Brother Giroflee join them there. Martin, Candide, and Pangloss continue their endless philosophical arguments. All sink into intolerable boredom until an encounter with a wise old man helps them to find contentment at last in work, in cultivating their "garden." Many of the characters in Candide do not appear to be fully developed, complex characters. With the exception of Candide, they change very little in the course of the tale. Only at the end, in Chapter 30, as each one finds his niche on the farm, does the reader perceive a sense of change in most of the characters. But even this change is related directly to the meaning of the conclusion. There is no gradual transformation developing from an inner evolution of the character. The transformation is imposed from the outside, briefly stated by the author to emphasize his conclusion. The reader has little knowledge of the characters' thoughts and emotions. You do not "know" the characters, you know only what they stand for and what their function in the story is. Frequently, the characters, especially the minor ones, are "types": They are representative characters, not individuals. They may represent an idea, like Pangloss, or a social class, like the young baron. Voltaire is deliberate in his use of character types. He does not want you to be so involved with his characters that you forget what they stand for. For the chief goal of satire is to communicate an idea, to make the link between the fictional world and the real world very clear. The use of character types does not necessarily imply that the author has created characters that are uninteresting or oversimple. But the characters, except for Candide himself, are important only as they relate to Candide and his education. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CANDIDE Candide (from the French, "pure, innocent, naive") is the focus of this tale. It is his story. With the exception of a few chapters of flashbacks, where other characters bring him up to date with regard to what has happened to them, he is present in every chapter. Other characters enter and leave the story. The reader always follows Candide. Candide's story is an adventure and a romance. Some readers have seen it as the story of a young man's education, of his journey from naivete to maturity. He begins as a gullible, simple soul, with a naive faith in his teacher Pangloss. This faith allows him to believe that all is for the best in the world. As Candide's eyes are opened, he loses his belief in optimism. For a time, he has nothing to replace his former optimism, but in the final chapter he finds a new belief--in work as a means to contentment. Candide's character evolves in various ways. He becomes more realistic and less idealistic. Always a questioner, he comes in time to modify his reactions to the answers he's given, in accordance with his newly gained experiences. At the beginning of the tale, for example, he accepts the optimist's justification for the evils he encounters. But as his journey continues, he questions how anything seen universally as evil can be for the best. At the end of the story, he begins to evaluate events as he sees them and is able to reject the answer "Everything is for the best." Candide is a more independent man at the end of the story than he is at the beginning. In the early chapters, he relies completely on Pangloss for his ideas about the world. He sees Westphalia and the castle of the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh as the center of the world. In the final chapter, he is able to disagree with his master and to decide for himself what direction his life will take. Not everything about Candide changes. Despite his excessive optimism as the story opens, he is portrayed as also having positive characteristics: "an honest mind and great simplicity of heart." He is loyal to his friends and to Cunegonde. He remains a kind man, generous, and honest in his dealings with others. Some of his negative characteristics do not leave him completely, either. Although he is less naive as he settles in Constantinople, he is still gullible enough to be swindled out of the last of his money in the final chapter. You may well ask yourself, in fact, how much Candide has changed. Is it his character that changes or merely his view of the world? Try to trace which aspects of Candide remain the same and which change. Certain aspects may seem contradictory. He is said to be gentle, and yet he kills two men and thinks he has killed another. He appears completely naive, and yet he has the good sense, as early as Chapter 3, to hide during a battle and to leave the war zone as quickly as possible. Is Voltaire saying that nothing and no one are quite what they seem? Or is he saying that circumstances force us to do things that might otherwise be against our nature? Look for other instances in the story of seemingly contradictory behavior and see whether you can discover why Voltaire has chosen to portray Candide in that way. Candide's actions and observations, as those of all the other characters, are closely tied to his function in the story. Voltaire, wishing to destroy the theory of philosophical optimism, which he finds impossible to support in the face of reality, causes Candide to suffer a multiplicity of evil and tragic experiences. He does not want to leave any room in the reader's mind for doubt--philosophical optimism is an impossible, even evil, belief. Therefore, every conceivable evil must be either experienced or observed by Candide. Although he is the most developed character in the story, Candide is always subordinate to the ideas of Voltaire's philosophical tale. Keep this in mind as inconsistencies show in Candide's character and behavior when his miseries pile up to an incredible level. Always ask yourself what Voltaire wants to say to you. What does he want you to see? ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: PANGLOSS While Candide is the most developed character in the story and the one that changes the most, Pangloss is the character that changes the least. He is the optimist philosopher who remains the optimist philosopher, even after he is hanged, sent to the galley as a prisoner, and caused to lose an eye and an ear. He is a foil for Candide, as Candide first trusts and believes in him, then begins to doubt him and finally to disagree with him. Although Pangloss is physically absent for much of the story, he is always present in spirit. "What would Pangloss think? What would Pangloss say?" are constant concerns for Candide as he travels about the world. Readers have seen the origins of Pangloss in various historical figures, either in the optimist philosopher Leibniz or in his disciple, Christian Wolff (1679-1754). Pangloss may also stand for more than just philosophical optimism--he may stand for philosophy itself, for any attempt to reduce the world to a single system of belief. (Support for this theory can be found in Chapter 30.) But, true to his name which in Greek means "all tongue," Pangloss's main role is to state and restate his belief in optimism, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Pangloss is a deliberately ludicrous figure, since Voltaire is trying to expose the absurdity of the beliefs he stands for. Only once does this mask slip. In Chapter 30, Voltaire gives us a brief indication that perhaps even Pangloss has changed: "Pangloss asserted that he had always suffered horribly; but having once declared that everything was marvelously well, he continued to repeat the opinion and didn't believe a word of it." ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CUNEGONDE Like Pangloss, Cunegonde is often physically absent in Candide. She is introduced in Chapter 1 and then disappears until Chapter 7. At that point she makes her longest appearance, staying with Candide until Chapter 14, when they again part, in Buenos Aires. She does not reappear until the final two chapters, when she and Candide are reunited in Turkey. Also like Pangloss, Cunegonde is nearly always present in spirit. Candide is not only an adventure story and the story of a young man's education, but also a romance. Candide's journey, especially after Eldorado, is a journey to find Cunegonde and make her his bride. She is the beloved, the lovely Cunegonde whom he struggles so long to find. As Candide's optimist philosophy crashes about him, Cunegonde is his ray of hope. When all else fails, he believes that if he can find her he will be happy (see Chapters 25-27). The final irony for Candide is that when he does find Cunegonde she is no longer the lovely young girl he remembered. She has grown ugly, and, after their marriage, she turns into a shrew. Until Chapter 8, you know very little about Cunegonde. In Chapter 1, you read that she is pretty and desirable. She is said to be interested in science, but the "science" she observes and hopes to practice is lovemaking. She gets many chances to fulfill her hopes as Candide proceeds. By the time Cunegonde reappears in Chapter 8 she is a practical, adaptable woman who manages to make her way in many difficult situations. Although she is a sensualist who takes what pleasure she can find whether it's good food or love, she is much more of a realist than Candide. She expresses her disillusionment with the easy optimism of Pangloss, but without the despair that Candide seems to feel at the loss of his illusions. Her lack of devotion to ideas or ideals allows her to enjoy life despite its disasters. It also allows her to love Candide but at the same time make do with others like the governor of Buenos Aires, the Grand Inquisitor, and Don Issachar. The portrayal of Cunegonde, like the other female characters in Candide, is ambiguous. She (as well as the old woman and Paquette) is shown in a positive way to be a strong, practical individual who copes well in terrible situations. Yet, in the portraits of Cunegonde and the others, you may see pitiful women at the mercy of men, passed from hand to hand until their beauty fades and they become washerwomen. On the one hand, Cunegonde seems a natural survivor; on the other, she is merely a victim. As you read along, see if you can determine whether Voltaire's female characters deserve more pity than admiration. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: OLD WOMAN The second major female character is the old woman. As with other major characters in the story, the old woman is present for only part of the tale. You meet her at the end of Chapter 6, when she approaches Candide after he is beaten by the Inquisition. From Chapter 7 on, the old woman appears only when Cunegonde is present, since the two women travel together for the rest of the story. The old woman serves as both a servant and an adviser to Cunegonde. Not only does she reunite Cunegonde with Candide, she also advises Cunegonde on her conduct. It is the old woman who urges Cunegonde to stay in Buenos Aires when Candide is again forced to run for his life. The old woman also acts as a counselor to Candide, above all in practical matters. She arranges his escape from Lisbon, and Candide consults her about the purchase of the farm in Turkey and what to do about the young baron. What kind of counselor is she? She has good common sense. She is worldly-wise, and her advice is sound in helping both Cunegonde and Candide out of some sticky situations. Like Cunegonde, she has a great love for life and is able to land on her feet. The old woman can be seen as a representation of common sense and practicality. She can also be regarded as a cynical voice, worldly-wise in a more negative sense. The old woman tells her own story in one of the longest sections of Candide, Chapters 11 and 12. Notice how her tale parallels Cunegonde's and how the old woman's destiny foreshadows the younger woman's. Why do you think Voltaire gives this particular character so great an opportunity to tell her story? Can you decide whether she is portrayed negatively as a worldly-wise cynic or positively as a voice of common sense and practicality? ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CACAMBO Another major character, whose function seems to overlap that of the old woman and Martin, is the "faithful" Cacambo, Candide's servant, who enters the story in Buenos Aires. Cacambo joins Candide in all his South American adventures and finally leads him from Venice to Cunegonde in Turkey. Like the old woman and Martin, Cacambo is both servant and adviser. Without him Candide would have been lost, either eaten by the Biglugs or executed by the Jesuits. It is Cacambo's resourcefulness that gets Candide out of both situations. Also like the old woman and Martin he is worldly-wise, never shocked by the strange situations that astonish the naive Candide. When they meet the two girls whose lovers are monkeys, Candide is shocked, while Cacambo is matter-of-fact about the scene. It is possible to see a trace of cynicism in his reactions to events--for example, when he talks the Biglugs out of eating him and Candide. Cacambo's other outstanding trait is his loyalty. He appears always to act in Candide's best interest. In addition to being Candide's servant and adviser, he is also his friend. Voltaire treats many serious subjects with irony--that is, he says one thing while expecting you to understand that he means something quite different, often the direct opposite of what he says. (When Voltaire calls Pangloss "the greatest philosopher in the province and consequently in the entire world" in Chapter 1, he is being ironic.) As you study the character of Cacambo, see whether you can find any examples of his loyalty or friendship being questioned or treated ironically. Cacambo never really tells his own story, so you must judge him by his actions and by the author's comments on his actions. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: MARTIN The last of the major characters is the scholar Martin. Martin is Candide's companion as he journeys from Surinam back to Europe. He accompanies Candide across Europe and settles with him on the farm in Turkey. Some readers see Martin as a kind of counterweight to Pangloss. Where Pangloss is the advocate of philosophical optimism, Martin is the spokesman for its opposite, a type of philosophical pessimism that believes all is for the worst, or, at best, a cynicism that questions the good motives of others. Pangloss sees everything as being for the best; he in effect denies the presence of evil. Martin, on the other hand, sees evil running rampant in the world. When Candide says to him, in Chapter 20, "Still there is some good," Martin responds, "That may be... but I don't know it." Other readers see Martin as a spokesman for the more pessimistic side of Voltaire's own philosophy. Voltaire was greatly concerned about the problem of evil in the world. His concern has sometimes been seen as the central point in Candide rather than Voltaire's attempt to satirize the belief in optimism. The problem of evil will be discussed in greater detail in the section on Themes and in the final chapter. For now, you need to know only that the character of Martin is very important in helping you trace the theme of evil. Follow Martin--see whether he changes as the story develops, and, if so, determine how much or how little. Martin is more complex than most of the other characters in Candide. It is difficult to say whether he is, in fact, a type character. He fills the role of friend and adviser, as do Cacambo and the old woman, but he is also a commentator and evaluator, a confirmed cynic, and a loyal friend. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: YOUNG BARON Cunegonde's brother is the representative of an overbearing, conceited, privileged aristocracy. He has few personal traits to commend him. He is ungrateful to Candide and would deny his sister her happiness because of Candide's lack of noble birth. Voltaire was opposed to a society that denied men the opportunity to rise in accordance with their merits. The young baron personifies the society that is not receptive to men of talent and honor. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: PAQUETTE The third female character in Candide, Paquette begins as a servant and becomes a prostitute. Her fall is even more disastrous than Cunegonde's and the old woman's. Paquette is a flirt, but she is also a sympathetic character. When she tells her story, in Chapter 24, she is portrayed more as a victim than as a "bad" woman. Paquette's life is redeemed when she finds her niche on the farm and has productive work to do. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: BROTHER GIROFLEE Brother Giroflee (also called Friar Giroflee in some translations) is Paquette's lover and companion. Appearing at first as a negative character, a hypocritical monk, he, too, is later portrayed as a victim of a system that forced young men into religious orders at an early age. Brother Giroflee is Voltaire's ironic commentary on what happens to men in such circumstances. He is the main representative of the type of hypocritical, immoral clergy that appears elsewhere in Candide. Like Paquette, he is redeemed when he becomes an honest man through work. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: JACQUES Jacques (or "James" in some translations) is the representative of the "good man." His benevolence--demonstrated when he helps Candide and Pangloss, clothes the naked, and feeds the hungry--is in direct contrast to the hypocritical preacher of charity in Holland. Jacques practices the Christian virtues that the preacher only talks about. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: POCOCURANTE Pococurante (from the Italian, "caring little") is a one-sided man of exquisite taste and refinement who derives no pleasure from his possessions. Caring little about anything, he despises everything. He possesses "all the best" but his life is full of boredom and distaste for everything. He voices many of Voltaire's opinions in art and literature, but this "professional critic" is a negative character. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: THE ABBE FROM PERIGORD Another of the many immoral characters with a religious affiliation, the abbe is Candide's guide to the "pleasures" of Paris. He is a swindler, a hypocrite, a flatterer--the archetype of the parasite, the man who lives off others. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: VANDERDENDUR The thieving merchant, pirate and swindler, he forms a neat contrast to the honest merchant, Jacques. (He is seen by some critics as a caricature of a Dutch publisher by the name of Van Duren with whom Voltaire had experienced some difficulties.) ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: SETTING Since Candide is the story of a fantastic journey, the setting of the tale is constantly changing. Candide opens in Westphalia, in Germany. The scene shifts to Holland, to Portugal, then to the New World and back. Several chapters take place on shipboard. Candide is full of place names, most of them real, a few imaginary. In general, however, the hero, Candide travels across a landscape that is familiar, if only by reputation, to his readers. The South American locations and the setting of the conclusion in Turkey add an exotic flair to the story. So, too, does the list of place names in Africa recited by the old woman when she tells her story. This list, and others that are scattered in the narrative, serve a second purpose. They contribute, by exaggeration, to Voltaire's parody of the popular adventure travel stories of his time. The setting of Candide varies for other reasons, too. Candide's travels serve as an indication of the great diversity of experiences that he must go through before he can lose his faith in optimism. As he travels from the Old World to the New and back, he is forced to face the universality of evil. The location of the story also varies to suit Voltaire's satiric purpose. While the author is exposing the general corruption of humanity, he also has very specific evils he wishes to assail. He brings Candide to these places as an eyewitness to certain events--for example, the execution of the admiral in the harbor of Portsmouth, in Chapter 23. Settings in Candide, however exotic they may be, are not always described in detail. Very often, the place name alone creates the setting. Sometimes there is a brief physical description. Voltaire seems to have little interest in "local color." When he describes something in detail--as, for example, the Jesuit's "leafy nook" in Chapter 14--he does so to make a point through the description. In this case, he wants to contrast the wealth of the Jesuits with the poverty of the Indians. Eldorado is described in greater detail than other settings in order to underscore the contrast between the real world and the desirable, fictional world--utopia--of Eldorado. This ideal "golden land" is a place of harmony and peace, of honesty and tolerance. It forms a sharp contrast with the unhappy world portrayed in the rest of the story. By describing Eldorado in such detail, Voltaire makes his ideal world more concrete for the reader. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: THEMES 1. OPTIMISM Voltaire's satire of philosophical optimism is one of the major issues of Candide. Throughout the story, satirical references to "the best of all possible worlds" contrast with natural catastrophes and human wrongdoing. A question that has been a great source of debate is what this destruction of optimism implies. Does it imply the triumph of pessimism? Is the conclusion of Candide a pessimistic withdrawal from a corrupt world? Or is its affirmation of work a modest, but nonetheless hopeful, commitment to life and change? This idea was labeled "meliorism" by others, and its chief tenet was the belief that people can actively work to create a better world. There is much evidence in Voltaire's life and later works that he believed in "meliorism." But can such evidence be found in Candide? Much depends on your interpretation of the conclusion in Chapter 30, and what you think Voltaire means by "cultivating our garden." 2. THE PROBLEM OF EVIL Some readers have seen the problem of evil as the central issue of Candide, more important than Voltaire's satire of excessive optimism. Evil, in its many forms, is something that Candide must constantly confront. It can take the form of a natural disaster, such as the Lisbon earthquake. More often, it is man-made: the cruelty of slavery and the Spanish Inquisition, the savagery of war, even greed and dishonesty. Candide is always questioning how and why such evils exist. A partial answer can be found in the words of the Turkish philosopher, the dervish in the last chapter. Some answers to the problem of evil can be found in the ideal world of Eldorado. An important question to ask yourself is whether Voltaire's answer to an imperfect world is revolt or acceptance. In making up your mind, pay close attention to the character of Martin and to the conclusion (Chapter 30). 3. THE ROLE OF FATE OR PROVIDENCE In Candide, Voltaire attacks not only the blanket optimism of Dr. Pangloss, but the religious notion of providence, the idea that there is a divine will guiding earthly events. The fact that good and bad alike suffer and die seems to be evidence that God is not in charge. Moreover, there seems little indication that any intelligible, rational design can be found in life's progression from disaster to disaster. Things seem to happen at random as Candide, Cunegonde, and the other characters are often pictured as victims of fate or circumstances. In denying providence as a beneficent guiding principle, Voltaire appears to be saying that either no rational pattern exists in the world, or, if it does, it is not readily evident to human beings. Some see Candide's final decision to concentrate on doing useful work as Voltaire's rejection of attempts to answer the question of why things happen in favor of simply acting to improve the world. 4. FREE WILL The idea of free will is closely tied to the theme of fate. Candide raises the question of an individual's control over his own destiny. A long-standing debate among philosophers is whether man is predestined to a certain fate, and, if he is, what happens to free will and moral choice? Does it matter whether a man chooses to do good or evil if he is destined to act in a certain way, in any case? The characters in Candide seem to be pawns of fate; yet, at the end of the tale, Candide chooses what he will do with his life. He hopes to find contentment, and, in a certain measure, he does. There may be no absolute answers to the questions raised by the issues of fate and free will. But they are important issues to keep in mind as you read. Pay attention to moments when characters have choices and to moments when they apparently don't. What happens to them when they do make choices? 5. AN ATTACK ON RELIGION The hypocrisy of religion, especially that of the Roman Catholic Church, is a recurrent theme in Candide. But other religions--Protestantism, Judaism, Islam--also receive the sting of Voltaire's wit. Underlying the satire of religious practices is Voltaire's outrage at all forms of fanaticism and intolerance. ("We are full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon our follies," he pleads in his Philosophical Dictionary, in the article on tolerance.) He relentlessly exposes the cruelties perpetrated in God's name. Some readers have seen Voltaire's view of religion as too one-sided, emphasizing only the negative aspects of religion without acknowledging its benefits. Others see Voltaire as exposing the abuses of religion without denying the validity of religion per se. What evidence can you find to support either or both of these views? 6. THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK The theme of work and its beneficent effects is announced by the good old man of Chapter 30, who urges work as the antidote to "boredom, vice, and poverty." Work is essential to attain the contentment that the travelers find on their farm. Although this theme is brought up late, it is important for an understanding of the conclusion of Candide. See whether you can discover what distinguishes the work done on the farm at the end and what makes it a source of contentment. This theme will be touched upon more extensively in the discussion of Chapter 30. Many of the themes of Candide are closely intertwined with one another. Together, they form a picture of Voltaire's view of the world and man's place in that world. To understand his view, follow these themes until they converge in Chapter 30. The final chapter is both the climax of Candide and the source of most debates on the meaning of Candide. Your interpretation of the story's conclusion will depend on how you interpret the themes discussed here and how you relate them to one another. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: STYLE The writing in Candide is an excellent example of a clear, flexible prose style that the author adapts to suit his particular intention of the moment. Voltaire uses exaggeration, irony, and contrast with great ease to convey the humor of a situation or the emptiness of an argument. The rhythm of the narrative is varied by mixing simple, declarative sentences with longer, complex sentences, marked by multiple clauses. Voltaire also uses an intermediate device; he connects two or more declarative sentences with semicolons. These techniques serve to keep the prose lively and the narrative moving forward. When each character speaks, Voltaire matches his style to the character. Pangloss's sentences are complicated, piling clause upon clause as he spins his justifications. The old woman's tale is full of adjectives, colorful exaggerations, and dramatic touches when she describes her splendid past life in Italy. The essential qualities of Voltaire's style are its clarity, its adaptability to different narrative moods, and its consistent forward movement. Candide does not drag. The author may pause occasionally for reflection or commentary, but the pace of the novel is generally lively. There are many English translations of Candide in print. Among them, the ones most readily available in paperback are Voltaire: Candide, Zadig and Selected Stories translated by Donald Frame (New American Library), and Candide by Voltaire translated by Lowell Bair (Bantam Books). The version used in the preparation of this book is the Robert A. Adams translation (Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces). Most translations accurately reflect the tone of Voltaire's prose. Nonetheless, shades of meaning can differ and certain expressions can be interpreted differently by individual translators. For example, a phrase used to describe Candide in Chapter 1 has been translated in the following three ways: [He] combined an honest mind with great simplicity of heart; and I think it was for this reason that they called him Candide. (Robert Adams) His judgment was rather sound and his mind of the simplest; this is the reason, I think, why he was named Candide. (Donald Frame) He combined rather sound judgment with great simplicity of mind; it was for this reason, I believe, that he was given the name of Candide. (Lowell Bair) Each translation gives a slightly different view of Candide, but each captures the essential qualities of the character, his good judgment and lack of sophistication. Any translation must lose something of the original, since style is unique to each writer. In particular, the fluidity of Voltaire's style seems sometimes difficult to capture. But, in general, most modern translations give the English reader a good reflection of Voltaire's style. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: SATIRE Much of what happens in Candide may at first seem exaggerated or far-fetched. But exaggeration is one of the techniques of satire. Satire is a means of ridiculing something or someone in order to discredit it. It is a way of criticizing through humor. Therefore, the satirist, rather than calmly discussing or analyzing the faults or weaknesses of his target, tries to make his target as ridiculous as possible. He emphasizes the absurdity of a situation or an individual. For that reason, satire may seem cruel--and sometimes is. You can defend yourself against criticism in a calm discussion but it's much harder to defend yourself when you've been made to look ridiculous. Satire is a literary technique with a long history. The plays of the Greek Aristophanes (448?-380? B.C.) lampooned the foibles of the ancient Athenians. In Voltaire's time, the works of Jonathan Swift were powerful voices of social criticism in Britain. Satire in Voltaire, and in other great masters of the technique, has a serious purpose. It is a means of pointing out injustice, cruelty, or bigotry and making them seem intolerable to you. There is always a serious intention behind the laughter in Candide. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: POINT OF VIEW Candide is told in the third person by an omniscient narrator. You learn through the narrator what the characters do and say and how they react. The narrator permits you to read the characters' thoughts and emotions. Because Candide is the central character--it is his story--the narrator follows him throughout. Much more is revealed about Candide's thoughts and emotions than is revealed about the other characters. Although the narrator is anonymous, he's not impartial. Ironic messages are conveyed by the author's choice of descriptive adjectives and verbs and by the contrast between Candide's naivete and what the narrator tells you is happening. The function of the narrator in Candide is to make Voltaire's message absolutely clear. The reader is guided, persuaded to accept Voltaire's viewpoint. In many novels, the attitude of the author toward his characters and their stories is ambiguous. This is not so in Candide. All elements of the novel are used to convey a specific message, to help you reach a definite conclusion. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: FORM AND STRUCTURE Candide can be divided into three parts, each consisting of ten chapters. The first part takes place in Europe, with the travelers setting sail for the New World in Chapter 10. The second part consists of Candide's voyage to and travels across South America. In Chapter 20, he again sets sail, this time for the return voyage to Europe. The final chapters are again set in the Old World. Voltaire does not explicitly divide the book into three parts, but the division is a natural one. Candide has an irresistible forward motion. Various narrative devices--unexplained encounters, mysterious reunions, cliff-hanging teasers--carry the reader quickly from one short chapter to the next. The story moves consistently toward its conclusion, in Chapter 30. The debate over the "solution" of Candide, whether it is optimistic or pessimistic, is not resolved until the final chapter when Candide makes his decision about the direction his life will take. The table of Candide's travels (below) will help you to keep track of the important things that happen to him in the book's various locations. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CANDIDE'S TRAVELS I. EUROPE WESTPHALIA--Chapters 1-3. Candide is forced to leave Castle Thunder-Ten-Tronckh and is enrolled in the Bulgar army. HOLLAND--Chapters 3-4. Candide meets the Anabaptist Jacques and finds his old tutor, Dr. Pangloss. LISBON--Chapters 5-9. Candide witnesses the Lisbon earthquake and is flogged by the Inquisition. He meets his beloved Cunegonde whose two lovers he kills. CADIZ--Chapter 10. Candide flees Lisbon and travels to Cadiz, Spain. He joins the army and sails for the New World. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: II. SOUTH AMERICA AND THE OCEAN VOYAGES ON THE ATLANTIC--Chapters 11-12. Candide hears the old woman's story as he and Cunegonde sail to Buenos Aires. BUENOS AIRES--Chapter 13. Candide, pursued by the police, flees from Buenos Aires accompanied by Cacambo. PARAGUAY--Chapters 14-15. Candide flees to the Jesuit encampment in Paraguay where he stabs the young baron. THE LAND OF THE BIGLUGS--Chapter 16. Candide kills two monkeys and is nearly eaten by the Biglugs, called Oreillons in the original and in some translations. ELDORADO--Chapters 17-18. Candide travels to the fabled land of Eldorado, but decides to leave. SURINAM--Chapter 19. Candide and Cacambo separate and Candide finds a new companion, the scholar Martin. ON THE ATLANTIC--Chapter 20. Candide and Martin discuss philosophy as they travel to France. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: III. EUROPE AND TURKEY OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE--Chapter 21. Candide and Martin continue their discussion and debate whether or not to visit France. PARIS--Chapter 22. Candide and Martin travel to Paris via Bordeaux. Candide is introduced to the pleasures and pitfalls of Parisian life. PORTSMOUTH HARBOR, ENGLAND--Chapter 23. Candide witnesses the execution of a British admiral. VENICE--Chapters 24-26. While awaiting Cunegonde, Candide meets Paquette and Brother Giroflee, Lord Pococurante, the six kings, and is at last reunited with Cacambo. AT SEA/CONSTANTINOPLE--Chapters 27-28. Candide is reunited with Pangloss and the young baron whom he ransoms in Constantinople, along with Cacambo. PROPONTIS (the Sea of Marmara, in what is today Turkey)--Chapters 29-30. Candide finds and marries Cunegonde. They settle down on a farm with their friends to cultivate their "garden." ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: THE STORY [All quotations in this section are from Robert M. Adams's translation of Candide, found in Literature of Western Culture Since the Renaissance (ed. Maynard Mack), vol. 2 of Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, 4th ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1980).] ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 1 Candide opens in Westphalia, a principality of Germany, at the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. In this first chapter, you meet Candide and many of the other characters who will join him in his adventures. Some major themes of the novel are presented and the lively, satiric tone of the narration is set. The baron's name itself is meant to deride the overblown names of many German petty nobles. Voltaire first introduces the readers to the inhabitants of Castle Thunder-ten-tronckh: Candide; the baron and baroness; their son; their beautiful daughter, Cunegonde; and the philosophy tutor Pangloss. Candide is an honest, simple soul rumored to be the illegitimate son of the baron's sister. His character is briefly sketched because his name sums him up. For the French word "candide" implies not only honesty but also innocence, naivete, and purity. Keep this in mind as you follow Candide through his adventures. To what extent does he live up to his name? What evidence do you have that he is perhaps not as naive as you might expect? Some readers have seen Candide as a novel of apprenticeship--that is, a novel that traces a character's development from adolescence to maturity. In order to understand Candide's development, you must understand where he began. The members of the baron's family are described briefly and humorously: the baron (a big fish in a little pond); his fat, dignified wife; his beautiful daughter and worthy son. Voltaire's humor is most pointed in his description of the baron, a great lord, not because of any personal merit but because his castle has a door and windows. As is often the case in Candide, Voltaire's humor here has more than one target. He is poking fun not only at a man with an inflated sense of his own importance but at a society that could, in fact, consider such a person to be important. After the family members are introduced, the philosophy teacher, Pangloss, is presented. But Voltaire, rather than describing the man or his character, chooses to portray Pangloss to the reader through his philosophy. Voltaire tells you what Pangloss does: He teaches philosophy--specifically, metaphysico-theologico-cosmoloonigology--of which the hallmark is his belief that this is the "best of all possible worlds." Pangloss is the first character to speak, and when he does speak, he begins the endless process of discussion and philosophizing that is so characteristic of the novel. NOTE: "Metaphysico-theologico-cosmoloonigology" is a hodge-podge word referring to three real fields of philosophy: metaphysics, the study of "being" or existence; theology, the study of God; cosmology, the study of the universe. Voltaire adds an ironic twist with "-loonigo-" and its association with stupidity or craziness. Voltaire once again is making fun here, alluding to Leibniz's philosophical system, which one critic had described as "physico-geometrico-theological doctrine." Voltaire substituted "cosmology"--in modified form--in obvious mockery of Leibniz's disciple, Wolff, who employed that term to describe the general laws of the universe. Pangloss is at the heart of the central issue of Candide, the attack on philosophical optimism, a widespread belief in the 18th century. The emptiness of Pangloss's reasoning is apparent from the outset. The very name of his course of study and the proofs he offers that this is the best of all possible worlds expose the shallowness of his reasoning. NOTE: LEIBNIZ AND PHILOSOPHICAL OPTIMISM After reading Candide, the reader tends to link philosophical optimism with the empty, tortured justification of everything good and ill personified by Pangloss. Voltaire's satire is so devastating that you may be unaware that philosophical optimism was a serious study by one of the world's great philosophers, Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716). Leibniz was a mathematician and scientist as well as a philosopher. His studies of being and of logic, and his concept of a dynamic but harmonious universe, had a great influence on later thinkers. The work Voltaire particularly attacked was one of Leibniz's earlier and simpler works, Theodicy (1710), a defense of God. In it, Leibniz tries to justify the existence of evil in a world which a presumably good God created. These were difficult concepts to understand and they were inevitably simplified by his follower, Christian Wolff, and, especially, by an admirer, the English satirical poet Alexander Pope. Leibniz's ideas became transformed into Pope's maxim "What is, is right." Voltaire saw that this viewpoint was, in reality, a pessimistic one, because it denied hope. If what is, is right, then there is no need for change; human misery and evil are merely links in an incomprehensible chain of ultimate good. But such reasoning is small consolation to the victims of slavery, warfare, and persecution. For Voltaire, who believed in change and social reform, it was an unacceptable explanation. Leibniz, as the originator of this philosophy, thus became the target of his satire. Voltaire's opinion of Pangloss and his philosophy is obvious. As the chapter ends, Candide is booted out of the castle after the baron catches him kissing Cunegonde. The entire episode is peppered with the jargon of philosophical discussions. Cunegonde learns about sex by watching the "cause and effect" relationship between Pangloss and her mother's maid. She then hopes to be the "sufficient reason" for Candide. But what happens in this "best of all possible worlds"? One kiss--and then a kick in the backside for Candide and a slap in the face for Cunegonde, with Candide being finally thrown out into the cold. This satirical technique of using the terminology of philosophical optimism to describe a situation where everything is going wrong is frequent in Candide. As the story goes on, you will become more aware of the impossibility of holding such a belief in optimism, but the groundwork is well laid here. As you read Candide, try to keep in mind the contrast between the philosophical ideals of what the characters say and the reality of what they do, or of what is happening around them. This contrast is one of the sources of humor in Candide and an effective means of highlighting reality and raising questions in the reader's mind. Chapter 1 also begins to set the narrative rhythm. While you read, look for other examples of the pattern being set here: the bottom falling out of what appears to be a wonderful situation. As the chapter ends, Candide is on his own, ready to begin his journey around the world. The story of Candide is, in a nutshell, the story of a fantastic journey. The novel is full of movement and change. Why does Voltaire place such importance on travel, adventure, and movement? See whether you can discover the reasons as the journey unfolds. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 2 After spending the night in the fields, Candide goes into a nearby village. He meets two men in blue who offer to buy him dinner. At dinner, the men propose a toast to the king of the Bulgars. Candide drinks with them and is immediately carried off into the Bulgar army. (See following Note.) Now a soldier, Candide is forced to learn army drill. The method of instruction is simple. The soldier is beaten until he masters the drill. The better he performs the drill, the less he is beaten. Candide learns quickly. Unfortunately, he has not learned everything about army life. One day he decides to go off on a walk. He is seized and brought up for court-martial. In the Bulgar army, being absent without leave was evidently a very serious offense. Candide is forced to choose between being beaten by the entire regiment ("running the gauntlet") 36 times or having 12 bullets in his head. He chooses the beating, and, at the point of death, is pardoned by the king. He recovers from his wounds just in time to go to war against the Abares. In the second chapter, Voltaire presents a biting satire of army life. The practice of conscription, the brutality of army life, and the loss of personal freedom are presented in an exaggerated but not completely unrealistic manner. Men were frequently tricked into serving in the army, and physical punishment was common. The humor of the chapter lies in Candide's gullibility and in Voltaire's use of exaggeration to make fun of the military. Twelve bullets to the head are certainly more than enough to kill even a Bulgar. NOTE: PRUSSIA AND FREDERICK THE GREAT This chapter displays Voltaire's attitude toward the brutality of army life. But the 18th-century reader saw more than a general satire. He also perceived a very specific comment on the Prussian army of Frederick the Great. The "men dressed in blue" were recognizable as the recruiters for the Prussian army, which was notorious for the harshness of its training. The idea of Frederick is also evoked--humorously by the overblown imaginary German-sounding names of Waldberghoff-trarbk-dikdorff and Thunder-ten-tronckh. Westphalia, an actual principality of Germany, was the site of battles between Frederick and the French. Voltaire purposely chose an early eastern European tribal people, the Bulgars, to stand for Frederick and the Prussians. He wanted to play on the French word bougre, an indication of homosexuality. The word sounds similar to, and is actually derived from Bulgare. The Abares (Avars in English), who represent the French forces, were the Bulgars' rivals during the 6th century. Even if you are unaware of the background of Frederick and his army, the satire in this chapter is clear. Voltaire's satire is always double-edged, closely tied to the events of his own time, but with a universal meaning. Candide's actions seem to justify Voltaire's description of him in Chapter 1. His own honesty and simplicity seem to keep him from seeing dishonesty and duplicity in others. Candide easily believes in the generosity of the men in blue. He does not suspect their motives. And Pangloss's teachings reinforce his tendency to believe that all is for the best. Candide's gullibility is not entirely incredible. Have you ever been flattered by someone only to find out that he wants something from you? Afterward, you say to yourself, "I should have seen it coming." But at the time, flattery is hard to resist. Voltaire introduces a new, important theme in this chapter--the theme of free will, of man's ability to choose his own destiny. Candide considers himself a free man, so he takes a walk. He is court-martialed. He is "free" to choose whether he wishes to be shot or beaten. Candide says that he wishes to choose neither, but he is forced to choose, anyway. Where, then, is his free will? The question of whether Voltaire believed in free will has puzzled many readers. The issue of free will and destiny comes up many times in the story. As you read, try to answer the following questions: Does Voltaire believe that man is the victim of destiny, predetermined to act in a certain way, or does he believe that man has the ability to choose his own destiny? Or is Voltaire's view that man has the freedom to choose, but that his choices are limited by circumstances? ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 3 The Bulgar army and the Abare army go to battle. Thousands of soldiers are killed. Candide hides until he can slip away from the battlefield. He passes through two villages, one Bulgar, one Abare. Both have been destroyed and are littered with dead and dying people. Finally, Candide is able to leave the war zone and makes his way to Holland. NOTE: THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR The Bulgars and Abares of Chapter 2 and 3 are allegorical, representing, respectively, the Prussians and the French. The two were opponents in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), part of which was fought in Westphalia. The Seven Years' War was part of a power struggle among the major European countries for control of the American colonies and India and for dominance in Europe. Alliances changed during the conflict, which lasted, off and on, despite its name, for the rest of the 18th century. France and Great Britain were continually on opposing sides. The French and Indian War (1754-1763), which you studied in American history class, was a part of this power struggle. During the Seven Years' War, Voltaire corresponded with both Frederick of Prussia and the French foreign minister, the Duc de Choiseul. There is evidence that Voltaire tried to use his influence to bring about a peaceful settlement. Once again homeless and penniless, Candide begs for his bread. A street orator, who is just finishing a sermon on charity, turns Candide away because the young man fails to condemn the pope. A passerby, the Anabaptist Jacques, takes pity on Candide, brings him home, feeds him, and gives him a job. Candide's spirits revive, and he goes for a walk into town, where he meets a beggar, a grotesque and horrible figure. In Chapter 3, two of the major themes of Candide are presented: the theme of evil, in the form of war, and the theme of religion. The chapter can be divided into two parts. The first, in Westphalia, treats the theme of war; the second, in Holland, treats the theme of religion. The first part of Chapter 3 contains one of the most famous scenes in Candide. In two paragraphs, Voltaire exposes the cruelty and savagery of war in a devastating manner. Although Voltaire never uses the word "evil," how does he make you feel its presence? The battle scene begins in an ironic mood. The two armies are splendid; they march to the accompaniment of music, but such a harmony "was never heard in hell." Linking the word "hell" with the idea of harmony provides the kind of contrast that lets you know vividly that war is hell. Harmony is usually considered a celestial attribute. A similar contrast closes the first paragraph where the battle is described as "heroic butchery." The fighting is described in the jargon of philosophical optimism. Inevitably, you are forced to compare the awful reality of what is happening with the ideal view of it. The battle continues with the two kings both claiming victory. But the tone of the narrative shifts away from satire when Candide enters the Abare village. The humor disappears and the description is harshly realistic. Voltaire describes the dead and dying of the village. The sense of war as evil is overwhelming. The second part of the chapter takes place in Holland. It contains the first satire of religious hypocrisy and intolerance in Candide. These negative qualities are embodied by the hypocritical orator and his wife. Their behavior is contrasted with the Anabaptist Jacques. The orator and his wife, religious enthusiasts, preach charity, but Jacques practices it. NOTE: Anabaptists were members of a Nonconformist Protestant sect that believed in baptism for adults, instead of the more usual Christian practice of infant baptism. They were also social reformers. Like many other persecuted sects the Anabaptists took refuge in Holland, a country famous for its religious tolerance. Some of the Pilgrims, fleeing persecution in England, went first to Holland before departing for America in 1620. Voltaire's attitude toward religion has always been a subject of controversy. Some believe that he was completely opposed to all established religions and especially to Christianity. Others, in the minority, believe that he was opposed only to the abuses of religion. The question is difficult to answer with certainty. Draw up a list of whatever evidence you can find in Candide to support either opinion. Chapter 3 ends with an unexplained encounter. Many other chapters in Candide end this way. They help to create a feeling of suspense and carry the reader on to the next chapter, in much the same way that a television serial leaves you hanging until the next episode. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 4 The sick beggar's identity is revealed--Dr. Pangloss. Candide feeds the starving Pangloss and begs for news of Cunegonde. Pangloss replies that she died after being raped by Bulgar soldiers. All the other inhabitants of the castle are also dead, and the castle itself is leveled. Candide faints. When he recovers, he asks Pangloss to tell his story. Why is he in such a pitiful condition? Pangloss attributes his problem to love. He has, in fact, contracted the "pox" from Paquette, the baroness's maid. Pangloss then proceeds to detail the origin of the pox and why it is necessary for the general good. NOTE: The pox, as it was then called, is syphilis. Christopher Columbus's expedition was blamed for bringing syphilis from the New World to Europe. As we know today, however, Columbus and his crews were not the recipients but the probable donors of the "pox" to the Americas. Candide brings Pangloss to Jacques, who calls a doctor to cure him. The philosopher recovers, but he is now minus an eye and an ear. He becomes bookkeeper to Jacques. Two months later, all three set sail for Lisbon on business. As they approach the harbor, a terrible storm blows up. In Chapter 4, with the reappearance of Pangloss, the satire of philosophical optimism continues. The ridicule here has a burlesque tone, as Pangloss explains the great chain of cause and effect that resulted in his contracting the pox. Without the pox there would be no chocolate, since both came from the New World. Pangloss cannot separate the two imports. They are linked, because they are both effects of the same cause. In Pangloss's system, there must be some justification for the pox, so he links it to a positive result. This parody of philosophical reasoning, beginning with an invalid premise and ending with an absurd conclusion, is Voltaire's method of exposing the emptiness of Pangloss and, by extension, of his philosophy. Pangloss always deals in abstractions and ideals. One source of the humor in the chapter is the clash between the real and the ideal. Pangloss says that his problem is love, which he then describes in idealistic, poetic terms. But the result of love so far is one kiss and 20 kicks for Candide and a case of the pox for Pangloss. Nonetheless, Pangloss remains undaunted by reality, which he twists and pounds to fit the shape of his philosophy. Chapter 4 is a bridge chapter. The reader and Candide are brought up to date on the characters left behind in Westphalia. The reliability of Pangloss's account is highly questionable, as you will see. The chapter also brings Candide to Lisbon, the location of his next series of adventures. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 5 During a furious storm at sea, Jacques is tossed overboard as he saves a sailor's life. The sailor does not, in turn, try to help him, and Jacques is drowned. The ship then splits apart and everyone is drowned, except Candide, Pangloss, and the sailor whom Jacques saved. On shore, Candide, Pangloss, and the sailor are heading for Lisbon when an earthquake, a tidal wave, and fires devastate the city. NOTE: The devastating Lisbon earthquake occurred on November 1, 1755. More than 30,000 people, many of them in church to celebrate the feast of All Saints Day, were killed. Large parts of the city of Lisbon were destroyed. Various attempts were made to justify or explain this event in terms of divine will or providence. In keeping with the optimist philosophy, it could be justified as part of a larger plan or greater good. It was also seen by others as divine punishment. For Voltaire neither answer was acceptable. In his "Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon," Voltaire specifically raised the issue of providence. He questioned the possibility of justifying or explaining such an enormous tragedy in terms of divine will--either as part of a greater good or as punishment for sins. Candide has been injured, but he and Pangloss do their best to help in the relief work. At dinner, Pangloss is attempting to explain the necessity of the earthquake when he is interrupted by an officer of the Roman Catholic Inquisition, who begins to question him. The chapter ends with an ominous nod from the officer. Some readers have seen the problem of evil as the central concern of Candide. In this chapter, the reality of evil is portrayed in a different manner from what it was in Chapter 3. There, evil was man-made--war and the slaughter of innocent citizens. Here, evil appears as a force of nature. No one has caused the natural disaster, but the result is remarkably similar to that of military conflict. Like the Abare and Bulgar villages, Lisbon is leveled, smoldering, littered with corpses. Theologians and philosophers had often justified natural catastrophes as divine retribution, punishment for man's sins. Pangloss justifies the catastrophe here by considering it a necessity, as something that must be. And, if everything is for the best, then so, too, must this be--a circular argument that, Voltaire seems to say, does not address the real issue. For the moment, Voltaire does not pursue the idea of attempting to justify the unjustifiable. He only shows you the emptiness of Pangloss's reasoning. The question of fate, or providence, is not directly addressed here, but the sense of the senselessness of fate underlies the chapter. In the storm at sea, it is the good man who dies and the evil man who survives to loot the ruins. People "of every age and either sex" are crushed to death, but the first survivor whom Pangloss, Candide, and the sailor meet is a prostitute. Since natural disasters had frequently been justified as punishment for immoral behavior, it is highly ironic that this survivor is a prostitute. What point do you think Voltaire is making? In addition to the dominant problem of evil, other themes of Candide are briefly mentioned in this chapter. The presence of an officer of the Inquisition at the dinner and his dialogue with Pangloss again raise the theme of religion. Since the Inquisition was charged with enforcing "orthodoxy" (strict adherence to accepted Roman Catholic Church doctrine) and with wiping out "heresy" (deviations from accepted doctrine), the issue of intolerance is raised. And because the Inquisition had become notorious, especially in Spain and Portugal, for the sentencing and execution of heretics, the issue of fanaticism is implied. By the 18th century, these practices were infrequent. But the mere mention of the Inquisition conjured up an image of fanaticism and intolerance. The chapter also contains the first examples of people working for a common cause. Everyone who is able, tries to help prevent the ship from sinking. After the earthquake, all the able-bodied people work to help the victims of the earthquake. These examples may help you to understand the theme of work and the meaning of the garden in Chapter 30. NOTE: Notice the interesting contrast between the actions of Pangloss and Candide in similar situations. In Chapter 3, when Pangloss says he is starving, Candide immediately feeds him, even though he is anxious for news of Cunegonde. Here, when the wounded Candide begs for oil and wine, Pangloss, whose name is Greek for "all-tongue," keeps talking until Candide faints. Why does the author add this scene? What does it tell you about Pangloss and his true concerns? ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 6 To prevent more earthquakes, the authorities decide to hold an auto-da-fe. NOTE: An auto-da-fe (from the Portuguese, "act of faith") was a public ceremony, during the first part of which accused heretics were sentenced by the Inquisition. The second part of the auto-da-fe was the execution by fire, carried out not by the Inquisitors but by the civil authorities. The clothing worn by Candide and Pangloss are the symbolically painted cape (sanbenito) and pointed hat (miter) of the heretic. By the 18th century auto-da-fes were rare, but not unheard of. The officers of the Inquisition hand over the victims: a Spaniard ("Biscayan") who married his child's godmother (a marriage forbidden by the Church) and two men whose refusal to eat bacon (pork) revealed them to be practicing Jews despite their formal conversion to Catholicism. All unconverted Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal in 1492. Pangloss and Candide, wearing the costumes of condemned heretics, are also delivered to the authorities. The ominous nod by the Inquisition officer to his armed guard that ended Chapter 5 is now explained. Candide and Pangloss were to be victims of the Inquisition for their heresy. Candide is beaten and Pangloss is apparently hanged. The Biscayan and the Jews are burned. After Candide is set free, an old woman approaches him and tells him to follow her. Voltaire chooses to have his characters condemned by the Inquisition in order to dramatize his chief quarrel with religion. In his view, religion perpetuates superstition, which, in turn, creates fanaticism and intolerance. The auto-da-fe chapter contains all these elements. Superstition inspires the auto-da-fe, which is thought to prevent earthquakes. The burning of the heretics is the height of fanaticism. Intolerance is implicit in the burning of the converted Jews and in the hanging of Pangloss for his opinions. After the auto-da-fe, Candide questions his optimist beliefs. Yet, it is not his own sufferings that most disturb him. He is baffled by the deaths of three of the people he cares about most: his good friend, Jacques; his tutor, Pangloss; and his beloved, Cunegonde. He repeatedly asks "Was it necessary?" because he can find no reason for their deaths. He wonders what other worlds must be like if this one is the best possible. Candide's questions are left unanswered. He no longer has a Pangloss to justify and explain evil. He will now have to face such questions alone and find his own answers. NOTE: Pangloss is hanged, which the narrator notes "is not customary." You will find out in Chapter 29 why Pangloss was hanged and what role this plays in the story. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 7 The old woman takes Candide to a small hut after his beating. She gives him food and ointment to rub on. She refuses, however, to explain why she is helping him, saying only that she is not the one he should be thanking. On the third day, she brings him to a beautiful house in the country and leaves him alone. When she returns, she is accompanied by a veiled woman. Candide lifts the veil to find Cunegonde. The lovers collapse. When they are revived, Candide tells Cunegonde his story. The mysterious appearance of the old woman at the end of Chapter 6 establishes the tone for the beginning of Chapter 7. The old woman refuses to explain herself, and the atmosphere of mystery is maintained until Candide lifts Cunegonde's veil. The scene is straight out of a romantic adventure: The mysterious old woman, the unnamed ointment, the remote house in the country, and the veiled lady are stock romantic creations. Remember that Candide is also a parody of the romantic adventure story and that a recognition scene of this type was essential to such a story. The atmosphere of mystery and romance is broken by none other than Cunegonde, the heroine. When she and Candide come face to face, they are overcome. Candide falls to the floor, but Cunegonde manages to collapse on the couch. This practical touch brings out the humor of the situation. And Cunegonde's straightforward answer to Candide's question about her fate at the hands of the Bulgars is a perfect introduction to the down-to-earth character of Cunegonde. NOTE: Like Pangloss, Cunegonde believes that all the other inhabitants of Castle Thunder-ten-tronckh are dead. This allows for further surprises and more recognition scenes later on. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 8 Cunegonde tells Candide of her adventures since they parted in Westphalia. After having seen the rest of her family murdered, Cunegonde explains that she was, indeed, raped and stabbed by a Bulgar soldier. She then went to live with the Bulgar captain, who had saved her. After he tired of her, the captain sold Cunegonde to a Jew, Don Issachar, who has established her in his country house in Portugal. Don Issachar has been forced to share Cunegonde with the Grand Inquisitor, head of the Inquisition in Portugal, who has also taken a fancy to her. Cunegonde claims to have yielded to neither man, though both are in love with her. Cunegonde then tells how she came to find Candide. She was attending the auto-da-fe with the Grand Inquisitor, the head of the Inquisition, when she recognized Pangloss and Candide among the victims. She sent her servant, the old woman, to find Candide and bring him to her. After dinner, their happy reunion is interrupted by the arrival of Don Issachar. Chapter 8 is particularly important for the insight it gives the reader into the character of Cunegonde. Her narrative is a mixture of melodrama and down-to-earth practicality. She describes her dramatic struggle to resist the Bulgar soldier but doesn't think of her conduct as particularly unusual. She admits that her "saviour," the captain, killed her attacker not out of concern for her, but because the soldier had failed to salute. Although she confesses horror at the auto-da-fe, she is also glad that she had a good seat and refreshments. But despite the fact that her practicality and adaptability allow her to find her way in most situations, she is not portrayed as cynical or unfeeling. She is genuinely overjoyed at seeing Candide. But she is essentially practical, and, though overjoyed, she does not forget that she is also hungry and wants her dinner. As a student of Pangloss, Cunegonde mentions his optimist philosophy in her narrative, but, unlike Candide, she does not try to convince herself that Pangloss must be right. She sees the real world: the country house far more beautiful than her "perfect" home in Westphalia and the cruel reality of the Inquisition in the "best of all possible worlds." She faces reality and, comparing it with Pangloss's ideal view of life, concludes sensibly that she must have been deceived. NOTE: Cunegonde provides another explanation for the auto-da-fe. It was held partly to conjure away earthquakes but also to put the fear of the Lord--or, in this case, of the Inquisition--into Don Issachar, the Grand Inquisitor's rival for Cunegonde. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 9 Bursting in on the reunited couple, Don Issachar attacks Candide with a dagger. Candide then draws his sword and kills him. Terrified, he and Cunegonde turn to the old woman for advice. Before she can help them, the Grand Inquisitor enters. Without hesitation, Candide runs him through. The old woman says that they must run away. Taking money and jewels, they head for the Spanish port of Cadiz. After they leave, the Holy Brotherhood, a type of religious police force, arrives. They bury the Grand Inquisitor and throw the Jew on a rubbish heap. Voltaire's parody of the adventure story continues in Chapter 9 with the most dramatic episode in Candide's career. Chapter 9 is full of action and swordplay. These incidents are the classic elements of an adventure story. But Voltaire's version is humorous and satirical. The humor comes from the author's choice of words and the frequent contrasts between the actions of romantic adventure and the language of mundane reality. In this chapter, you get the idea that Candide is finally learning about this world. The philosophical justifications of earlier chapters yield to practical explanations for his rash actions. "My dear girl," replied Candide, "when a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself." The events of Chapter 9 move the story rapidly along and provide the impetus for Candide's voyage to the New World. He is fleeing the police, who are certain to want him for the murder of the Inquisitor. NOTE: The old woman casually mentions, when they are about to leave on horseback, that she has only one buttock. This remark is left unexplained. She refers to that particular circumstance twice more in the following chapter, again without explanation. This is a type of humorous "teaser" to arouse your curiosity until the matter is finally explained in Chapter 12. The entry of the Holy Brotherhood initiates the chase after Candide, which will resume in the New World. Voltaire also introduces this scene to show the contrast between the treatment of the Inquisitor and the Jew. The Inquisitor is buried in Church, while the Jew, at least as much a victim as the Inquisitor, is thrown on a pile of rubbish. However, you are also meant to notice how similar they are--in being dead! ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 10 At a stopover in a village inn, Cunegonde is robbed of her money and jewels. The old woman suspects that a Franciscan friar staying at the inn is the culprit. They sell one of their horses and ride on to Cadiz. In Cadiz, Candide's skill with the Bulgar drill lands him a commission in an army being assembled to fight in Paraguay against the Jesuits. The army's task is to crush a rebellion led by the powerful Jesuits against the king of Spain. The trio, plus two servants, set sail for the New World. During the crossing, in the course of a discussion of Pangloss's philosophy, Candide expresses the hope of many Europeans of Voltaire's day, that the New World will be better than the Old. Cunegonde, on the other hand, has little hope left after all her sufferings. The old woman claims to have suffered far worse trials. Cunegonde's skepticism inspires the old woman to tell her story. Two prominent themes of Candide are developed further in the chapter. First, the biting satire of religion is continued. Three religious orders are mentioned--the Franciscans, the Benedictines, and the Jesuits; none of them is presented favorably. The Franciscan is suspected of being a thief. The Benedictine buys the horse "cheap," implying that he drove a hard bargain. The Jesuits are accused of a more serious crime, inciting to rebellion. NOTE: RELIGIOUS ORDERS Within the Roman Catholic Church, certain clergy, including priests, monks and nuns--also called brothers, friars, and sisters--belong to what are known as "religious orders." These are groups of men or women organized into communities and dedicated to following common rules of living and praying (generally, the rules of the founder). Some orders, like the ancient Benedictines, founded in the 6th century, were at first monastic and lived apart from the world. Others, like the Jesuits (Society of Jesus), begun in 1539, were involved in the world as active missionaries, teachers, and even advisors to kings. The Franciscans, founded by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century as a reaction to earlier corruption of the clergy, began as wandering preachers devoted to a life of poverty. Though most orders shared an original commitment to maintaining the pure, spiritual life, many gradually became more and more involved in the material world. Well before the 18th century, religious orders had been criticized frequently for their wealth, their meddling in political affairs, and their "worldliness." By "worldliness" was meant too great an attachment to the things of the world--to possessions, power, or pleasure--and not enough to spiritual matters. Voltaire's depiction of abuses by the religious orders is not unique. Lecherous priests and thieving monks were common in humorous works from the Middle Ages on. The English writer Chaucer (1340?-1400) and the Italian writer Boccaccio (1313-1375) both satirized the clergy in their great works, The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron. The corruption and materialism of the clergy was one of the major issues in the development of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. In this chapter, the object of religious satire is different from the object in Chapter 5. Great issues like fanaticism and intolerance are not mentioned here, but the corruption and worldliness of "religious orders" are exposed. At the heart of this corruption is the same hypocrisy you've seen already in the Protestant preacher in Holland. These "religious" characters obviously do not practice what they preach. The second major theme treated in the chapter is, again, philosophical optimism. Notice the difference in attitude between Cunegonde and Candide as they set sail. Candide still hopes to find "the best of all possible worlds," but he is beginning to admit that, so far, all is not right in the world he knows. Cunegonde is more realistic, but because she feels so little hope, she is almost despondent. Before Chapter 10 ends, Cunegonde announces a new theme--the theme of human misery and self-pity. If you've ever been really depressed and felt the whole world is against you, then maybe you can understand how Cunegonde feels. She thinks that she must be the most miserable woman in the world after all her troubles. Notice how the author plays with this theme in later chapters. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 11 The old woman was not always an ugly servant, she tells Cunegonde, as she begins her fantastic story. In fact, as the daughter of a princess and a pope, she had been raised in great splendor. Famed for her beauty, she inspired poetry and songs. She was engaged to the prince of Massa Carrara. But the wedding never took place. The prince was murdered by his former mistress. In despair, the prince's young fiancee and her mother left by ship for Gaeta, a town in southern Italy. On the way they were captured by pirates. She was raped by the captain, who then carried her and her mother off to Morocco. Morocco was in the midst of a terrible civil war. When they landed, they were attacked by a rival faction. All were slaughtered except the young woman, who was left for dead. She awoke to find a body pressing on her and to hear a voice murmuring in Italian. The old woman's story is one of the most colorful episodes in the novel. Her narrative is highly charged with melodramatic extremes, from the ecstatic description of her own beauty to the horrors of the carnage on the beach. She speaks in a torrent of words, piling comparison upon comparison, superlative upon superlative. In contrast to the drama of her story as a young woman is her matter-of-fact commentary as the old woman narrator. The old woman's attitude implies that there is really nothing so extraordinary in her experiences. Being seized by pirates and raped is, she now realizes, something that happens all the time in this world. Likewise, the strip search, which seemed so strange to her at the time, she now knows is simply a custom of the seas. The old woman's remarks serve various purposes. They highlight the worldly-wise, unflappable character of the old woman. They illustrate the universality of evil and emphasize the author's sarcasm. For, even if these events are "common matters," they are not any the less evil. The old woman's commentary brings you down to earth from the dramatic heights of the "young" woman's life. No major new themes are introduced here; but old themes are expanded upon. For example, a new dimension is added to the theme of evil--its universality. As terrible as events may be, they are not unique. But not being unique makes them all the more terrible. Religious satire is expanded beyond Christianity to include Islam. All across Morocco, people are slaughtering each other by the thousands, but no one forgets to say his prayers to Allah. Both Moroccan pirates and the Christian Knights of Malta treat their captives with equal barbarity. No religion, Voltaire seems to say, can restrain man's wickedness. The chapter ends with another of Voltaire's "teasers"--the man murmuring in Italian, "What a misfortune to be without testicles!" Although this line draws the reader on to the next chapter, it also serves to emphasize the sexuality that is an important element of the old woman's story. In her youth, her outstanding characteristic was her beauty. As a princess, she was courted and admired for her body. As a prisoner, she was stripped and (like Cunegonde) raped. In the continuation of her story, you will see what happens to her as her beauty fades. NOTE: Parodies (comic imitation) of literary forms and styles are frequent in Candide. In this chapter, Voltaire appears to be making fun of an ornate Italian literary style. The old woman's description of herself as a princess is a cliche of Renaissance Italian love poetry. The exaggerations and colorful dramatic touches in her narrative also imitate that style. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 12 The man who closed Chapter 11 murmuring in Italian about his misfortune was a Neapolitan castrato, or eunuch, a man castrated to preserve a high singing voice. In Morocco on a diplomatic mission, he had formerly been court musician to the old woman's mother, the princess of Palestrina. After offering to help her to Italy, the old woman explains as she continues her story, he treacherously sold her to a local Muslim lord, who made her a member of his harem (women members of the household, including wives, mistresses, sisters, daughters). A plague epidemic then broke out, killing both the eunuch and the lord, but the young woman survived to be sold from one merchant to another until she ended up in Turkey, in another harem of a local lord, or aga. During a siege by the Russian army, the aga's harem was defended by a group of soldiers who refused to surrender. To feed the starving soldiers, each woman in the harem was forced to sacrifice one buttock. (Here is the answer to the mystery created by the old woman's comment in Chapter 9.) The fort was taken by the Russians and the women were sold as servants. The young woman finally escaped from Russia and made her way across Europe, working as a servant. No longer young or beautiful, she was often miserable, especially when she thought about her fate in life. Her last position on her journey across Europe was with Don Issachar, as servant to Cunegonde, with whom she now intends to remain. As her long story ends, the old woman reminds Cunegonde that she is not alone in her fate. The old woman challenges Cunegonde to find one person on the ship who has not had his troubles. If she can find one person who has never thought that he was the most miserable person on earth, the old woman will throw herself overboard. This second part of the old woman's adventures has been as full of drama and catastrophes as the first, if not more so. She is sold from hand to hand, first as a harem girl and then, after she is mutilated, as a servant. As she is sold off and moved from place to place, she seems to be a plaything of fate. She apparently has no control over her own destiny. Trying to return home from Russia, she never succeeds either in getting back to Italy or in improving her lot. A counterbalance to the old woman's consistent ill fortune, however, is her equally consistent ability to survive. Everyone except her dies on the shores of Morocco. During the plague, the eunuch, the lord, and most of the harem die, but she survives. Voltaire never comments directly on why she survives, but the conclusion of the chapter may provide a partial answer. Despite everything, the old woman loves life. Perhaps it is this love of life that prevents her from being crushed by its miseries. But this is really not an answer since other people love life as much and do not survive. The old woman says that nearly everyone she has met feels both the misery of his fate and his attachment to life. Why, then, do some survive and not others? In Candide, do you think Voltaire attempts to answer this question? What would Pangloss say? Voltaire, in his satirical attacks on optimism, argues that mankind's misery is obviously not for the best. He also rejects the related religious argument that God's will (providence) provides a justification, since both good and bad alike suffer in wars and earthquakes. How else can such negative events be explained? Is man just a victim of random, accidental events? Or are they a result of our own evil nature? Later on, in Chapters 20 and 21, watch for Martin the scholar's pessimistic views on the subject. Or, perhaps, the world is governed by certain principles, but ones that are beyond our ability to understand them, so that what seems like a cruel fate would make sense if only it could be grasped? Whether Voltaire offers, at the end, any explanation for the world's unhappiness or merely dismisses the question as irrelevant, is for you to decide. NOTE: The old woman's story, to a certain extent, foreshadows Cunegonde's fate. Remember this story when you read the final chapters and compare the old woman's destiny with Cunegonde's. At the end of the chapter, the old woman issues a challenge to Cunegonde--to see whether she can find anyone who does not pity his lot in life. This refers back to Cunegonde's feeling of misery and self-pity at the end of Chapter 10. Watch for this theme in Chapter 19, where the author uses a similar technique, a challenge to tell the story of one's woes, in a more lighthearted way. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 13 The voyage to Buenos Aires continues. As each passenger tells his story, the old woman's viewpoint is confirmed. When they arrive in Buenos Aires, Candide presents himself to the governor, Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueroa y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza. The gentleman takes an immediate fancy to Cunegonde and sends Candide off to drill his troops. The governor proposes to Cunegonde, who goes to the old woman for advice. The old woman suggests that she accept the governor's proposal. A ship from Portugal arrives in the harbor. The police are searching for the murderer of the Grand Inquisitor. The Franciscan who robbed Cunegonde has set the police on their trail. The old woman urges Cunegonde to stay and Candide to flee as quickly as possible. The old woman continues to play an important role in this chapter. She guides the actions of both Cunegonde and Candide. Her advice is practical, a level-headed evaluation of the situation. Cunegonde can afford to stay in Buenos Aires because she has the protection of the governor. Candide, on the other hand, can count on the governor for nothing. The young man stands in the way of the governor's desire to marry Cunegonde. NOTE: Don Fernando d'Ibaraa y Figueroa y Mascarenes y Lampourdos y Souza is a caricature of an arrogant Spanish nobleman. The inflated multiplication of names exaggerates the Spanish custom of using both parents' last names in one's own surname. Voltaire is emphasizing the extreme pride and self-importance of the governor. In this chapter, the reliability of the old woman's judgment is confirmed. She suspected that the Franciscan had robbed them outside Cadiz, and she was right: There is a degree of cynicism in the old woman's guidance. Her evaluations, although correct, are generally negative, which is why she sees the general misery around her. She coolly counsels Cunegonde to abandon Candide. Is her advice to Cunegonde purely cynical, though? She does seem to have Cunegonde's best interest at heart. Maybe as a survivor, she sees the best way out of a bad situation. If she were a true cynic, wouldn't she perhaps choose to leave Cunegonde and try her luck elsewhere? Chapter 13 is another bridge chapter, this time connecting the Old World and the New World. With the arrival of the police from Portugal, Candide sets off for South America on the next phase of his journey. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 14 Candide is persuaded by his servant, Cacambo, to leave Cunegonde and head for Paraguay. There, instead of making war on the Jesuits, they will make war for them. When they arrive at the Jesuit encampment, they are seized. The commander consents to meet them when he learns that Candide is a German. The commander turns out to be the young baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh. After embracing him, Candide tells him that his sister, Cunegonde, is alive and in Buenos Aires. Cacambo makes his first appearance in Chapter 14, although he is said to have been with Candide since Cadiz. This servant is to play an important part in Candide's South American adventures. In this first stage of the journey, he acts as an adviser and a guide. In later chapters, he will assume other roles in his relationship with Candide. Cacambo is similar in many ways to the old woman. Both are realistic and worldly-wise. Both are able to find a way out of a sticky situation. Cacambo immediately sees the course they must take. They must fight for the Jesuits instead of against them. Such quick change of sides is consistent with Cacambo's chief characteristics in this chapter, his adaptability and resourcefulness. He is a jack-of-all-trades. He has been a monk, a sailor, a merchant, and many other things besides. He has no qualms about which side he will fight on in the Jesuit war. It is Cacambo, not Candide, who figures out the way to get the commander to receive them. His adaptability and resourcefulness will frequently come in handy on his travels with Candide. Although Candide does not have Cacambo's problem-solving ability, he is not the simple soul he was in earlier chapters. Already, in Chapter 13, Candide was beginning to show signs of independent judgment. He says that he could raise some objections to Pangloss's philosophy if only Pangloss were alive to hear them. The beginnings of his disenchantment with Pangloss's views can also be seen here in Chapter 14. When the commander asks him where he hails from, Candide replies, "From the nasty province of Westphalia." This is quite a contrast with his idealized view of his homeland in earlier chapters. The South American chapters are very important if you are to understand the development of the character of Candide. Watch carefully for other signs of his changing attitude and beliefs in these chapters. In Chapter 14, Voltaire continues jabbing away at religion, his chief target in this chapter being the Jesuits. The Jesuits are portrayed as exploiters of the Paraguayan people. The wealth of the Jesuits and the poverty of the Indians are symbolically depicted in the contrast between the Jesuit commander, with his ornate, leafy retreat, where he and Candide dine sumptuously, and the Indians, who are depicted eating corn on the naked ground. The Jesuits' policy is summed up by Cacambo, who says that the Jesuits have everything and the people have nothing. The hypocrisy of the Jesuits is seen in the contrast between their behavior in Europe and their behavior in America. In Europe, they bless the very kings against whom they make war in America. The irony of priests who make war is developed more fully in Chapter 15. NOTE: THE JESUITS The religious order of the Society of Jesus, the official name of the Jesuits, was founded in Spain in the 16th century. Considering itself an army against the newly established Protestant Reformation in Europe, its political and religious activism led to its rapid growth and great influence. The Jesuits were famous as scholars and teachers, and their schools were the training ground for many influential politicians and writers. (Voltaire himself was educated by the Jesuits.) As dedicated foreign missionaries they followed the Spanish into South America to convert the Indians, and to share in the newfound wealth of the New World. The Jesuits were also famous as religious philosophers and sophisticated thinkers. As confessors to kings, many of them had privileged and powerful positions in society. They were also figures of theological controversy. They were sometimes considered too liberal, too accommodating to modern thought. Because of both their power and their views, in the 18th century, the Jesuits were expelled from various Catholic countries, including France in 1765, only six years after the publication of Candide. Chapter 14 ends with the ecstatic reunion of Candide and the young baron. Remember their warm embraces and tears when you read about the outcome of this reunion in Chapter 15. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 15 After the slaughter at the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh, the young baron was presumed dead, but he had only fainted. He was revived by a sprinkling of holy water as he was being carried off for burial. The Jesuit priest who revived him took a fancy to him and made him a novice. Eventually, the young baron was sent to Paraguay, where he rose in rank. When the young baron finishes his story, Candide tells him that he would like to marry Cunegonde. The baron is furious and slaps Candide with his sword. Candide then stabs the baron. On the advice of Cacambo, Candide puts on the Jesuit's robe and the two ride out of the camp. The baron's description of his life with the Jesuits continues the satire of the previous chapter. Throughout his narrative, the dual nature of the Jesuits' role is stressed. As both missionaries and soldiers of Christ, they are in Paraguay both as priests and conquerors. Their power has led them into competition for control with Spain. The baron arrived as a subdeacon (a low position) and a lieutenant. He is now a full priest and a colonel. The Spanish troops will be defeated on the battlefield and excommunicated in the bargain. The apparent contradiction between war and religion recalls the picture of the young baron in Chapter 14, standing with his cassock (priest's gown) drawn up to reveal his sword. NOTE: The young baron is frequently associated with homosexuality. In Chapter 3, Pangloss says that the baron was subjected to the same treatment as his sister Cunegonde--that is, raped. Here, Father Croust (a personal real-life enemy of Voltaire) takes a liking to the baron because he is a pretty boy. Except as a way to insult Father Croust, there seems to be no particular motive for attributing this behavior to the baron personally, unless Voltaire wanted to comment on the masculine image of the military profession in general. Remember that earlier he represented the Prussians as Bulgars in order to suggest homosexuality. The joyful reunion takes an ironic twist when Candide says that he wants to marry Cunegonde. No longer is Candide the welcome brother. He is now an upstart, trying to rise above his station in life. Candide first tries to reason with the baron, but when the baron hits him he strikes back. Cacambo's quick wit saves the situation. Candide, the idealistic hero, can think of no solution but to die fighting. Cacambo, the practical realist, finds a quick solution in the clothes change. The consequences of wearing a disguise will be seen in the next chapter. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 16 Candide and Cacambo escape safely from the Jesuits. They stop to rest and at nightfall they hear the sound of women's voices. Two girls run by, chased by two monkeys. Thinking to save the girls, Candide kills the monkeys. But the girls cry and moan over the dead animals. Cacambo informs Candide that the monkeys were probably the girls' lovers, and that the two of them are headed for trouble of some sort as a result of Candide's act. Sure enough, they awaken to find themselves tied up, prisoners of the Biglug Indians (called Oreillons, or "big ears" in the original and other translations). The Biglugs are ready to make dinner of Candide and Cacambo. Fortunately, however, Cacambo finds a way to save the situation again. He realizes that the Biglugs want to eat them because the Indians think the two strangers are Jesuits. When he proves to the Indians that he and Candide are not Jesuits but have actually killed a Jesuit, they are set free. NOTE: THE "NOBLE SAVAGE." The land of the Biglugs is Voltaire's satirical portrayal of the idea of the "noble savage." Primitive society, especially in the New World, had frequently been idealized by Europeans in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was seen as purer, simpler, and free of the moral corruption and hypocrisy of the modern world. Candide's portrayal of the Biglugs is hardly idealized. Voltaire's primitive society is cannibalistic and bestial. However, the Biglugs make a quick conversion to western-style reasoning when Cacambo convinces them to reject cannibalism by appealing to the sophisticated rules and customs of international law. In the Biglugs' too-ready acceptance of Cacambo's elaborate reasoning, what may Voltaire be suggesting about the innate difference between primitive and modern societies? Is there any, according to Voltaire? The episode of the Biglugs continues the satirical portrait of the Jesuits. Being dressed as a Jesuit was a major cause of Candide's problem. The killing of the two monkeys was forgotten once the Biglugs learned that Candide had killed a Jesuit. Candide's attitudes and spirits fluctuate in this chapter. The fluctuation is typified by his reaction to the state of nature. When he is about to be eaten, he questions Pangloss's teaching about man in the state of nature. But after Cacambo gets him off the hook, he comes to believe that "uncorrupted nature is good." Candide speaks in ideal terms, but his reactions are governed by events, not by ideals. This fluctuation of Candide's attitude toward optimism continues until the conclusion. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 17 After being freed by the Biglugs, Candide and Cacambo decide to head for Cayenne and the coast. The road is long and full of dangers. When they finally run out of food and are at the end of their rope, they set themselves adrift in a canoe. They float gently downriver until the current changes and drives them along at a terrible speed. The canoe crashes, and the two of them make their way to a beautiful valley. Upon entering the village, they see children playing with what appears to be gold and precious jewels. The children throw the stones away. When Candide attempts to return the stones, he is laughed at. Later, he tries to pay for a magnificent dinner with the stones. He is told that they are just pebbles and that the meal, though unworthy of them, is free. Chapter 17 brings Candide and Cacambo to what some readers identify as the turning point of the story, the visit to the land of Eldorado. Certainly, after this visit, Candide will frequently compare the rest of the world with Eldorado. Whether you see this as the turning point in Candide's rejection of optimism depends on your interpretation of Candide's character before and after this episode. See whether you can detect a change in Candide's attitude and actions after Eldorado. You can also defend the point of view that Candide's development is more gradual. But you will need to find evidence of increasing realism, even pessimism and decreasing belief in optimist ideals, in the chapters leading up to Eldorado. In Chapter 17, you are introduced to a few aspects of Eldorado: its wealth, its beauty, the kindness of its citizens. The details of this ideal world are presented in Chapter 18. NOTE: The myth of Eldorado, or golden land, was not a creation of Voltaire. Since the 16th century, stories had been told by explorers and conquerors of a land of fabulous wealth in various locations in South America. It was generally believed that such a place did, in fact, exist and many unsuccessful expeditions were launched to find its wealth. The actual silver and gold already found in the New World, and especially in Mexico, gave credence to these stories. Eventually, Eldorado came to mean any imaginary place where easy riches could be found. What is created in this chapter is the sense of Eldorado as "another world" that is truly distinct from the world Candide has experienced. He and Cacambo reach Eldorado only when they abandon themselves to fate. Voltaire repeatedly emphasizes that the worldly-wise Cacambo is astounded by what he sees in Eldorado. Why? Because as too much of a cynic, always expecting evil, he is incapable of accepting a world where evil seems absent? Or is Voltaire telling you, through the realistic voice of Cacambo, that Eldorado is indeed an impossible ideal for human beings? Decide for yourself as you read Chapter 18 whether you think Voltaire is making a case for the ideal society or thinks it out of step with human nature. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 18 Candide and Cacambo meet with one of the elders of the country. They question him about the customs and history of Eldorado. They then travel to the capital, where they meet the king and are entertained royally for a month. The two travelers then decide to leave Eldorado and find Cunegonde. They plan to return to Europe to live a life of luxury. The king of Eldorado does not understand their desire to leave, but he has his scientists invent a machine that lifts them over the mountains. Accompanied by a hundred red sheep laden with gold, precious jewels, and provisions, Cacambo and Candide head again for Cayenne. The Eldorado episode is a pause in the narrative rhythm of Candide. Very little happens here, but these two chapters contribute greatly to your understanding of the story. Throughout Candide, Voltaire criticizes the faults and weaknesses of European society. In Eldorado, he gives us a glimpse of his idea of a better world. What are the chief characteristics of Eldorado? It is a beautiful country, both naturally beautiful and made even more so by man. It is a land of great wealth; its citizens have all they need and, by European standards, much more. Because its people value their "pebbles and mud" only as materials and not as sources of power, it is a contented, peaceful land. It is a religious country, whose only religious ritual is thanking God. It is a land that prizes science and in which the useful and the beautiful are united. NOTE: DEISM. The religion attributed to Eldorado is actually a type of Deism, a religious philosophy that had originated in England in the 17th century, and was taken over in varying degrees by the French philosophes, including Voltaire. According to some Deists, the world had been created by a God who then ceased to intervene actively in its affairs. Created according to rational principles, this world could be understood by all men through the natural physical laws that governed its operation. Thus, the Eldoradans have no need for ritual through which to ask God for favors or protection. Nor is there any reason to fight with others over whose version of God's laws is correct. Eldorado is perhaps even more noteworthy for what it does not have than for what it has. It has no law courts, no prisons, no priests. It is a society that needs no mediators, either between God and man or between individual men. The Eldoradans are contented people who have vowed never to leave their homeland. Their history has taught them that those who left Eldorado (the Incas) in order to conquer others were themselves destroyed. This lesson, however, is lost on Candide and Cacambo. They decide to leave Eldorado because they believe they can live better outside. Candide says that the two can live like kings in Europe, while in Eldorado they are no different from anyone else. The normally wise Cacambo agrees with him. What is your idea of the ideal state? Would you choose to live in Eldorado or would you, like Candide, look for a better life elsewhere? Is there anything you think wrong with Eldorado as it's presented by Voltaire? The meaning of their decision to leave can be seen in different ways. Their departure can be considered a realistic assessment of human nature. The desire to be better is more natural to men than the desire to be equal, even if the equality exists in pleasant circumstances. Their departure can also be seen as a rejection by Voltaire of the very idea of "utopia," or a "perfect" state. Is Voltaire saying that utopias are worthwhile to think about, but impossible to achieve? Is he saying that maybe utopias are even undesirable? Isn't it human to want to be better than your neighbor? Isn't it also human to have faults and conflicts? In deciding whether you think Voltaire ultimately rejects the achievability of his ideal state, keep in mind the picture he has painted so far of people and society. You may not be able, though, to resolve the question completely until the conclusion of Candide, when the travelers set up their own "ideal" state. Another aspect of the Eldorado chapter that points to the conclusion of Candide is the message of the old man's story about his ancestors. The wisest men were those who chose to stay rather than to seek greater wealth and power in the outside world. The old man's message complements the king's view that people ought to stay where they are relatively comfortable and happy. The implication of both the king's and the old man's message is to find happiness where you are. The inhabitants of Eldorado are not aware of the uniqueness of their situation. They do not know that they are the richest people in the world. Their wisdom lies in recognizing that they are happy and comfortable. They do not need to measure their happiness against someone else's misery. Compare the advice of the old man with that of the other good old man in Chapter 30. These chapters on Eldorado are quite important in understanding the overall intent of Candide. They accentuate Voltaire's satirical picture of European ways by means of contrast. Eldorado is the perfect foil for Europe. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 19 After traveling for a hundred days, Candide and Cacambo arrive in the city of Surinam on the northern coast of South America. They now have only two of the red sheep, the other ones having died on the difficult journey. Outside the city of Surinam, they meet a black man, who is missing both a hand and a leg. The black man is a slave in a sugar mill. His hand had been cut off when he caught his finger in the mill. His leg was cut off because he tried to run away. Candide is horrified by the slave's story and concludes that in the face of such evidence Pangloss's optimism must be abandoned. When they enter Surinam, Candide tries to convince a ship's captain to take him to Cunegonde in Buenos Aires. The captain refuses, because the woman Candide is looking for is the favorite of the governor of Buenos Aires. Candide is shocked to hear that his beloved is the governor's mistress. He decides to send Cacambo to pay off the governor and bring Cunegonde to him in Venice. He'll travel directly to Venice and wait for them there. Candide books passage on a ship bound for Venice. The ship's captain, Mr. (or Mynheer) Vanderdendur, who is also the owner of the notorious sugar mill, deceives Candide. Vanderdendur makes off with the last two sheep and leaves Candide in Surinam. In deep despair, Candide then books passage on another ship. He takes with him as a traveling companion the scholar Martin. Candide's last days in America are filled with catastrophe. His fortunes seemed to have reached a high point as he left Eldorado, a wealthy man on his way to find Cunegonde. But in this chapter, events take a dramatic turn for the worse. He loses his sheep; he finds out that Cunegonde is the governor's mistress; he is swindled by both Vanderdendur and the Dutch magistrate. The episode in Surinam is particularly important in understanding the development of Candide's character. When Candide left Eldorado, he was wealthy and anticipating his reunion with Cunegonde. When he reaches Surinam, although he has only two sheep left, he is still a very wealthy man, and he does not yet know that Cunegonde is the governor's mistress. But after he meets the black slave, he voices his strongest denunciation of optimism so far. He tells Cacambo that optimism is a "mania," which asserts that everything is fine when everything is quite the opposite. Why does Candide react so strongly at this particular juncture, when his own fortunes, though somewhat diminished, are still generally positive? It may be because slavery is such an unspeakable abomination that no justification is possible. Or it may be because so many bad things have happened to Candide, and he has seen so much evil, that his encounter with the black man is the final straw. But something has changed in Candide. He is no longer merely questioning optimism but actively denouncing it. NOTE: There is some indication that Voltaire added the encounter with the slave after finishing the original manuscript. The addition was the result of further reading he had done on slavery. It may lend support to the idea that what inspires the strong denunciation of optimism here is the horror of slavery. Candide hits an emotional low point in this chapter. To understand what changes have taken place in his character, compare Candide now with the way he appeared at another low point, after the auto-da-fe in Chapter 5. In both instances, Candide's reaction to optimism is based more on what has happened to other people than on what has happened to him. But notice the difference in the form his reaction takes. In Chapter 6, he is puzzled, doubting. In Chapter 19, he denounces optimism and defines it for himself. Instead of asking questions, he is answering Cacambo's question. After the auto-da-fe, Candide's story takes a brief turn for the better when he finds Cunegonde again and she becomes more hopeful. In Surinam, things merely get worse and worse. Even relatively smaller annoyances, like the magistrate's coldness, make him despair. What do you think has caused this change in Candide? Can you trace the steps that brought him to this point? What is there in Eldorado that could have made it a turning point for Candide? In Chapter 19, two new characters enter the story, Martin the scholar and the Dutch merchant Vanderdendur. Vanderdendur, the slave holder and swindler of Candide, is a complete scoundrel. He is the exact opposite of another Dutch merchant in the story, the honest Anabaptist Jacques. Vanderdendur meets his end in Chapter 20, when at sea he is drowned in a shipwreck like Jacques. But whereas Jacques died trying to save another man, Vanderdendur is killed trying to rob another ship. The scholar Martin is the third of Candide's companion advisers. Candide chooses Martin to accompany him in a contest he's holding to find the most miserable man in Surinam. This scene is reminiscent of the old woman's challenge to Cunegonde, in Chapters 12 and 13, to have each of their fellow passengers tell his story. The results of Candide's contest confirm the old woman's opinion about the universality of human misery. Ironically, Candide chooses his companion not because he is the most miserable--nearly all are equally miserable--but because he promises to be the most amusing. NOTE: Martin is persecuted for being thought a Socinian, a follower of the beliefs of a small Unitarian Protestant sect that denied the divinity of Christ, the Trinity, and other basic tenets of orthodox Christianity. Although the Socinians had found refuge in Poland in the 16th century, they were eventually disbanded and destroyed as a practicing sect. Socinian writings, however, continued to have influence among the non-orthodox, and were well thought of by the French philosophes because of their relatively rational approach to religion. Martin, like the Anabaptist Jacques and the victims of the Inquisition in Lisbon, is yet another example of the intolerance and religious hatred that Voltaire fought against. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 20 Martin and Candide discuss philosophy as they cross the ocean. Candide is wavering again toward Pangloss's philosophy, especially when he thinks of seeing Cunegonde again. Martin claims to be a Manichean who believes that the world, with the exception of Eldorado, is dominated by evil. NOTE: MANICHEANISM. Manicheanism, which flourished from the 3rd to the 7th century, was originally a Persian philosophy, but spread West to become one of the earliest and most important heresies of the early Christian Church. Its founder Mani preached that the world was a battleground for the two equally strong but opposing forces of good and evil. Thus, life was a constant struggle between the two, in which the ideal state was one of balance, not the triumph of one over the other. This view runs counter to traditional, Christian belief in a universe created and directed by goodness, where evil is only an aberration, and where the goal is the triumph of goodness, not a standoff. For Martin, the forces of evil seem to have gotten the upper hand. While Martin and Candide are arguing in effect whether this is the best or worst of all possible worlds, they witness a sea battle between two ships, one of them belonging to the Dutch pirate Vanderdendur. When his ship sinks a red sheep floats over to the ship on which Candide and Martin are sailing. Candide takes this as an omen that he may see Cunegonde again. Candide's black mood decreases and so does his opposition to optimism. His hope of seeing Cunegonde again, the omen of the sheep, even a good meal, contribute to his reviving optimism. Voltaire shows in this chapter that Candide's attitude is becoming influenced by circumstances rather than philosophy, and also by the strength of his hope of finding his love Cunegonde. Martin's pessimistic view of human behavior is outlined in this chapter. His observations of cruelty and human woes, and his own painful experiences, have led him to believe in a world where evil has the upper hand. Although he is, in a sense, an anti-Pangloss, Voltaire does not make Martin's views appear as ridiculous as those of Pangloss. This may imply that Voltaire prefers reasonable pessimism or, at least skepticism, to excessive optimism. Since the basis of pessimism lies in its view of human nature as basically evil or vulnerable to evil, is there any evidence in Candide that Voltaire holds this view and that Martin is really speaking for him? How would you characterize Voltaire's view of human nature based on this book? Martin's observations often seem just. He points out the fallacy in Candide's thinking when Candide applauds Vanderdendur's "punishment." Martin reminds Candide that many other people who had nothing to do with the captain's dishonesty died with Vanderdendur. Martin is a realist, and, unlike Pangloss, he does not seem to distort reality to fit his philosophy. Martin's character and its effect on Candide should be watched closely in the remaining chapters of the novel. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 21 Martin and Candide continue to talk as they near France. Martin tells him about France, especially about Paris and his own negative experiences there. Candide says that he has no desire to go to France and invites Martin to accompany him to Venice. Martin accepts. As they are still discussing human nature, the ship arrives in Bordeaux, France. Martin's philosophy and character are developed further in this chapter. Martin, especially in his jaundiced view of life and human nature, has been seen by some readers as a spokesman for Voltaire. But Voltaire has many spokesmen in Candide and his whole view of the world is not likely to be found in any single character. He reveals aspects of this view to you through different characters. Martin is in some ways similar to Candide's previous companion, Cacambo. Like Cacambo, Martin is not shocked by human behavior. He finds it quite plausible, as did Cacambo, that girls should take monkeys as lovers. What other similarities can you find between Cacambo and Martin? What differences are there? Why did Voltaire replace Cacambo with Martin? Chapter 21 is another bridge chapter, returning Candide to the Old World. Voltaire's satire of Parisian and French ways is introduced. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 22 Candide donates his sheep to the Academy of Science in Bordeaux. Intrigued by the constant talk of Paris, he decides to go there before proceeding to Venice. When he and Martin arrive in Paris, he falls ill. He is waited on by various people, who hope to make a profit from his wealth--doctors, new-found friends, two pious ladies. When Candide finally recovers, an abbe from Perigord, a province in southwestern France, takes him under his wing. (In 18th-century France, an abbe was not necessarily an ordained cleric. Frequently he was a man who had studied theology and, therefore, could receive the honorary title of abbe. Candide and the abbe go to the theater, where Candide is moved by the performance of a tragedy. The other spectators are busy criticizing and discussing literature. The abbe and he then go to a fancy home in the fashionable Faubourg Saint-Honore neighborhood. Candide loses a great deal of money gambling at cards. Over dinner, the literary discussion begun at the theater continues, as do Candide's perennial philosophical questions. After dinner, Candide is seduced by his hostess. After talking to the abbe about Cunegonde, Candide receives a letter from her; she tells him that she is in Paris, ill and penniless. Candide rushes to her, taking along gold and diamonds. Their reunion is interrupted by the police, who have been looking for the suspicious foreigners, Candide and Martin. Since Candide has not been allowed either to see Cunegonde or to hear her voice, Martin realizes that the girl isn't Cunegonde. The whole thing is a setup and everyone can be paid off. Candide and Martin leave for the port of Dieppe, where the brother of the police officer will arrange their departure from France. Candide's stay in France, though brief, is treated in detail by Voltaire. Most of the chapter is devoted to a satire of the over-sophisticated society of Paris as witnessed by the simple foreigner, Candide. Some of the main themes of the work are reiterated--Voltaire's view of the clergy and philosophical optimism, and Martin's Manichean view of evil. But the point of this chapter seems to lie elsewhere. Voltaire was a born-and-bred Parisian who was forced to live much of the time outside Paris. All his life, he had a classic love-hate relationship with his native city. This chapter seems to provide a forum for the author to present an ironic view of his own culture in a work set largely outside that culture. Voltaire's world view of corruption and evil is brought home here. Candide's innocence provides the perfect foil for the corruption of Paris. NOTE: A large part of this chapter was added in 1761. Most of the long discussion at the theater and the entire scene at the home of the Marquise de Parolignac were added then, greatly expanding the satirical picture of the Parisian social and literary scene. The chief characteristics of Parisian society as portrayed by Voltaire are its greed and its love of controversy for its own sake. Nearly everyone Candide meets in Paris is trying to take advantage of him. Candide's wealth brings out "friends" wherever he goes. The abbe from Perigord is the prototype of this venal aspect of Parisian society. He attaches himself to Candide in the guise of a friend, eager to guide him to the pleasures of Paris. But his motives are, in reality, purely financial. He gets a cut from Candide's losses at cards and from the sale of the diamonds that Candide gave to the marquise. He hopes to swindle Candide out of much more in the encounter with the false Cunegonde. NOTE: The discussion of literature was a typical pastime in the Parisian salons of Voltaire's day. In these discussions, Voltaire voices some of his own opinions through his characters. The scholar's view of tragedy, for example, is close to Voltaire's own view of that art form. He also pokes fun at some of his personal opponents, particularly the literary journalist Freron, who made frequent attacks on Voltaire. His portrait of the professional critic, who derives no pleasure from art except that of condemning it, is contrasted with Candide's sincere delight at the play. Many references in this chapter can be related to Voltaire's own life. What is important for you to understand is the general quality of his description of Paris, the main thrust of his satire. The details are interesting but not essential to your understanding of the work as a whole. This chapter is also relevant to the development of Candide's character. In Chapter 19, in Surinam, Candide was in despair at the greed and dishonesty personified by Vanderdendur and the judge. Now, in Paris, he is again surrounded by greed and dishonesty. He is swindled at every turn. Candide's lack of sophistication makes him the prey of leeches like the abbe. At the end of the chapter, Candide runs from Paris. He is just happy to have escaped. Martin says little in this chapter, but his remarks are always pointed and apt. What he does express is consistent with his cynical philosophy. He is never surprised at evil. Martin's cynicism and knowledge of human nature allow him to see through a situation like the setup at the end of the chapter. In his ability to size up a situation accurately and find a way out of a sticky problem, he is quite like Cacambo. He seems, in fact, to play a role similar to Cacambo's--as guide and adviser--but with an additional element, that of philosophical mentor and commentator. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 23 Chapter 23 is a detour in a literal and figurative sense. England is hardly on the way to Venice, but Voltaire has his characters go out of their way to be able to treat a matter of great concern to him. As Candide and Martin approach Portsmouth Harbor in England, they witness the execution of a British admiral. NOTE: A similar execution did take place in 1757. British Admiral John Byng was executed after being convicted of failing to engage his ship in a battle against the French near Minorca, Spain, the previous year. Voltaire had personally crusaded to stop the execution. Voltaire often raised his pen in defense of those he deemed oppressed or ill treated. One of the most celebrated cases that engaged his energies was that of Jean Calas, an elderly Protestant who was executed in Toulouse in 1762 for allegedly murdering his own son, (to prevent his conversion to Catholicism). Years later Calas was exonerated but in his "Treatise on Tolerance," Voltaire condemned Calas's wrongful conviction as a "great crime." The execution of the admiral brings the theme of war to the forefront again. At the beginning of the chapter, when Martin compares the relative craziness of the French and English, he raises the subject of war. He cites the futility of the war between the two countries over Canada, "a few acres of snow," as an indication of mutual insanity. The absurdity of the rules of war can be seen in Candide's observation that, though the French admiral was equally as far from the British admiral as the British was from him, the French admiral was not executed. Candide is horrified at the admiral's execution and refuses to set foot on shore. He pays the ship's captain to take him directly to Venice, where he will be reunited with his beloved Cunegonde. At the end of this short chapter, Candide's faith in Cacambo and his hope of seeing Cunegonde renew his optimism. It is an optimism, however, based precariously on hope. In Chapter 24, you will see how long it lasts. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 24 After several months, Candide and Martin are still in Venice, waiting for Cacambo and Cunegonde. Candide, initially hopeful, begins to despair. He fears that Cunegonde may be dead. Martin believes that Cacambo has run off with the money and advises Candide to forget about Cunegonde and Cacambo. One day, while walking in town, Candide and Martin meet a happy-looking couple, a pretty girl and a monk. Candide believes that they, at least, must be happy. Naturally, Martin disagrees. To settle their argument, they invite the couple to dinner. Back at the inn, the girl says that she is Paquette, the baroness's maid and the source of Pangloss's pox. After leaving castle Thunder-ten-tronckh, Paquette was the unhappy mistress of several men. She has now turned to prostitution and is a miserable creature, with no hope for the future. The monk, Brother Giroflee, turns out to be unhappy also, forced into a vocation for which he has no calling and which he detests. Candide admits that he has lost the argument and sends the two off with money. Martin insists that the money will make them only more miserable. Candide and Martin make plans to visit Lord Pococurante, reputedly a happy man. Candide's hopeful mood at the end of Chapter 23 is waning. After months of fruitless searching and waiting, he is once again sinking into the melancholy and despair he felt in Surinam. Martin's skepticism does nothing to lighten his mood. Martin's role in this chapter is puzzling. He is Candide's constant companion, but he does little to relieve his friend's unhappiness. In fact, he only increases it. At this point, he seems to be a true counterbalance to Pangloss. At the beginning of the novel, Pangloss taught Candide that all is for the best. Here, Martin seems to be doing the opposite, trying to teach Candide that all is misery, and that people, without exception, are unhappy. In the case of Pangloss, events constantly proved him wrong. Here, events only seem to reinforce the correctness of Martin's view. Once again it seems that Martin's view of the world is accurate. Or is Voltaire just emphasizing how strong Candide's belief in optimism still is? Candide and Martin are still testing the old woman's hypothesis that all people are unhappy. Martin calmly defends it again and again. But Candide hopes to disprove it. He wants to find a happy man. Candide's optimism is difficult to destroy. He reads the meeting with Paquette as another omen that he may yet find Cunegonde. Martin makes two predictions in the chapter. The first is that Cacambo will not return because he has run off with Candide's money. The other is that Candide's money will make Paquette and Brother Giroflee only more unhappy. See what comes of these predictions later. They may help to clarify Voltaire's view of Martin and pessimism. NOTE: Two recurring messages of Candide are highlighted in the characters of Brother Giroflee and Paquette. Brother Giroflee is yet another corrupted clergyman, but with a slight twist. This "amoral" monk is seen as a victim of the system that forced him into the monastery, not as a "bad" man. Paquette, too, is seen more as a "victim" than as a "bad" person. Notice the similarities between Paquette's story and the old woman's. Like the old woman, Paquette goes from one man to another. Also like the old woman, she envisions an unhappy end for herself when her beauty fades. Paquette continues Voltaire's portrait of women as objects used and discarded by men. In Chapter 24, Voltaire is paving the way for the conclusion of Candide. Martin's dialogues with Candide are helping to demolish the last vestiges of optimism. Candide's last illusion and last hope is Cunegonde. What will become of this dream is yet to be seen. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 25 Candide and Martin visit Lord Pococurante, a Venetian nobleman, in his beautiful palace. They are served chocolate by two beautiful girls, whom Pococurante finds boring. They discuss art, literature, and music with the Venetian. Pococurante, however, finds little pleasure in any of these subjects: He disparages the great masters and proclaims his own independence of taste. As they leave the nobleman's palace, Candide says to Martin that Pococurante must be happy, because he is above everything he owns. Martin disagrees, pointing out that a man who finds no pleasure in what he has cannot be deemed happy. Weeks pass, with no word from Cunegonde or Cacambo; Candide grows increasingly unhappy. Chapter 25 is, in a sense, a digression, having little to do, on the surface, with the main body of the story. Here, Voltaire, through his characters' discussion of literature and the arts, allows himself to voice some of his own opinions about literature. Yet, the chapter serves a useful function in the narration--to introduce the character Pococurante, a man of taste and independent judgment. Martin admires his qualities and even agrees with many of his opinions. Candide, on the other hand, unaccustomed to forming his own opinions, is shocked by Pococurante's independence. Up until this point, he himself has always had a teacher and a guide in forming his opinions. Keep this in mind when you read Chapter 30. But even Martin, admiring as he is of Pococurante, does not fail to see the negative aspect of the nobleman. Pococurante has everything, but his life is empty. He enjoys nothing; he is bored. His name sums up all that is wrong with him--Pococurante, caring little. Martin, cynic and pessimist that he is, sees that Pococurante's lack of involvement in life is no answer to the misery of life. NOTE: ARTISTIC AND LITERARY REFERENCES. To help you understand some of the references to the great masters mentioned in this chapter, here is a list and brief description: LODOVICO ARIOSTO (1471-1533), Italian Renaissance poet, author of the comic epic Orlando Furioso. CICERO (106-43 B.C.), Roman orator and statesman. HOMER (ninth century B.C.), Greek epic poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. HORACE (65-8 B.C.), Roman poet, especially famous for his Odes. JOHN MILTON (1608-1674), English poet, author of Paradise Lost. RAPHAEL (1483-1520), Italian Renaissance architect and painter. SENECA (4 B.C.?-A.D. 65), Roman philosopher and essayist. TORQUATO TASSO (1544-1595), Italian epic poet of the late Renaissance, author of Jerusalem Delivered. VIRGIL (70-19 B.C.), Latin poet, author of the Aeneid. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 26 One evening, on the way to supper, Candide and Martin finally run into Cacambo, who has become a slave to a Turkish sultan. He tells them to be prepared to leave Venice with him after supper. Cacambo informs Candide that Cunegonde is not in Venice but in Constantinople (Istanbul). Candide and Martin then have dinner with six foreigners, all of whom are dethroned kings come to celebrate the pre-Lenten season (carnival) in Venice. Each tells his story. Candide presents the most destitute of the former kings with a generous gift. Cacambo's reappearance here is a variation of the mysterious encounters in earlier chapters. Here, the mystery is not the identity of the character; you know almost immediately that the man who approaches Candide is Cacambo. But the sense of mystery is still there: Why is Cacambo a slave? Why is Cunegonde in Constantinople? These questions are left unanswered. The main focus of this chapter is the encounter with the six dethroned kings, all of whom are real historical figures. As the kings tell their stories of realms lost, often by violence, the idea of fate, or providence, is raised. You know how some of these kings were dethroned--by war or revolution--but you don't know why. If anything, you are left with a sense of the capriciousness of fate. A man can be king one day and in prison the next. These six kings (and the four others who enter the inn as Candide leaves) create an image of an unstable world. Their stories illustrate the same rise and fall of fortunes that are evident in Candide's own story. All, in the words of the Polish king, have had to submit to providence. NOTE: The scene illustrates how carefully structured Voltaire's seemingly casual, fluid style is. At the beginning, each stranger, to the growing amazement of the others, is addressed as "Your Majesty" by his servant. A comic ritual is created as each servant steps forward to speak to his master. The sixth servant adds a typical Voltairean ironic twist: His "Majesty" is broke, so he plans to abandon him. The ritual continues as each king speaks his piece, ending with the formula "I have come to spend the carnival season at Venice." This time it is the sixth king who adds the twist. The others are deposed but rich; he is on his way to debtors' prison! The repetitive structure of the whole dinner creates a comic effect in what would otherwise have been a series of tragic tales. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 27 On their way to Constantinople, Candide and Martin discuss their encounter with the six kings. Candide is once again proclaiming that all is for the best. His surge of optimism, however, is tempered by Cacambo's story. Cacambo tells how, after ransoming Cunegonde, he was robbed of the remainder of the money Candide had given him by a pirate who then sold him and Cunegonde into slavery. Cunegonde is now washing dishes for an impoverished, exiled king. To top it all off, she has grown horribly ugly. Candide is dismayed at this news, but he vows that he must love Cunegonde forever. In Constantinople, Candide buys Cacambo's freedom. Then he, Martin, and Cacambo set sail for the shores of Propontis (Sea of Marmara). On the galley, they see two familiar faces among the slaves, Pangloss and the young baron. (Their stories will be told in the next chapter.) They return to Constantinople. Candide ransoms the baron and Pangloss, and they once again set sail for Propontis. At this point in Candide, the momentum begins to build toward the conclusion. Important themes of the novel are referred to: the capriciousness of fate in Cacambo's story, Candide's continued attachment to optimism, the universality of human misery as voiced by Martin. The major characters of the novel reassemble. Pangloss and the baron are found among the galley slaves. Cacambo, who appeared briefly in Chapter 26, now tells his story. The loose ends of the tale begin to be tied. This process will continue in Chapters 28 and 29. NOTE: The characters of Pangloss and the baron, when they re-enter the story, are essentially unchanged from what they were when they left it. You can see the lack of change if you compare their behavior when they are ransomed by Candide. Pangloss is effusive, swelling with gratitude. The baron reacts with a cool nod. Yet, both have lived through extraordinary adventures, as you will see in Chapter 28. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 28 On the way to Propontis, the baron and Pangloss recount their adventures. After being cured of his wounds, the baron was captured by the Spaniards, jailed briefly in Buenos Aires, and then sent to Constantinople. There, he made the great mistake of bathing naked with a Turkish page boy, another reference to his homosexuality. He was arrested and sent to the galleys--to do hard labor as an oarsman on a galley, or ship. Pangloss survived his hanging because the executioner, accustomed only to burning his victims, had tied the noose poorly. Pangloss only lost consciousness. His "body" was purchased by a surgeon for dissection. When the surgeon began to dissect him, Pangloss awoke with a scream. After recovering from his shock, the surgeon cured Pangloss and found him a job. The philosopher was in Constantinople, working for a merchant, when he, too, made a great mistake. He put a bouquet of flowers back on the half-exposed breast of a young lady, whence it fell while she was praying. He suffered the same fate as the young baron and ended up chained to the same bench in the galley. The two have been arguing every since about which of them was the greater victim of injustice. Pangloss, however, still clings to his optimist philosophy. More loose ends are tied in Chapter 28 as the baron and Pangloss explain how they escaped death. On the Turkish galley, the two men argue endlessly and are constantly beaten for talking. Each is so eager to prove his superior claim to misery and injustice that the actual punishment makes no impression on them. Remember the contest for the most miserable man in Surinam held by Candide? There, the most miserable man was at least to be rewarded by Candide. Here, the argument's pointlessness is brought home vividly, since it brings Pangloss and the baron nothing but further misery. But Pangloss clings unbelievably to his belief in optimism. Notice the difference between him and Candide. Candide reacts to circumstances, so his optimism wavers. He asks questions and has doubts when things go bad. When he defends optimism, he is reacting to what he has seen or experienced. He tries in some way to tie his belief to reality, to his observations. Pangloss's faith, on the other hand, is blind. Reality does not shake it. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 29 The travelers arrive in Propontis and find Cunegonde and the old woman doing laundry by the shore. Candide is horrified at how ugly Cunegonde has become. He ransoms the two women and buys them all a small farm to tide them over. A man of honor, Candide asks the baron for Cunegonde's hand. The baron refuses and Candide loses his temper. The last of the major characters are reassembled in Chapter 29. It also recalls some events of previous chapters. The old woman's description of herself in Chapter 11 is reflected in the way Cunegonde looks in Chapter 29. Their fates have been similar; Cunegonde, ravaged by time and harsh experience, is now a servant. Candide's new proposal of marriage recalls the first time he asked the baron's permission to marry Cunegonde in South America. But Candide has obviously changed since those days. Then, he reacted physically to the baron's arrogance. He struck him with his sword. Here, Candide reacts verbally by losing his temper. Underlying this exterior difference is a more important psychological difference. In Chapter 15, Candide was respectful, even deferential, to the baron. After he stabbed him, he was filled with remorse. Now, he has only scorn for the baron, whom he considers an ungrateful idiot. The respectful Candide has given way here to the independent Candide, who speaks his own mind. This change is important to the resolution of Candide's story in Chapter 30. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: CHAPTER 30 The young baron is sent back to the galleys to finish his sentence. Candide marries Cunegonde, and everyone settles down on a farm. They are all bored, except Cacambo, who is overworked. Only Martin, who is convinced that nobody is particularly happy anywhere, is able to take things in stride. The group is completed by the arrival of Paquette and Brother Giroflee, once again reduced to poverty. As usual, the process of philosophical discussion continues. Finally, they decide to consult the "best" philosopher in Turkey. When he hears their questions about evil and the meaning of life, he slams the door in their faces. On the way home they meet an old man and his family. The old man is entirely ignorant of philosophy and politics. He is content in his simple life, based on work and the fruits of one's labor. Candide reflects on the family's life and decides that he, too, must cultivate his garden. All decide to abandon philosophizing and to work the farm. They each find their niche and, despite Pangloss's occasional attempts to philosophize, quietly go on with living. At the beginning of Chapter 30, all the loose ends of the story are tied together, but the group is still unhappy. A new element of torment has entered their lives--boredom. The old woman implies that this suffering may be the worst of all. The story of Candide ends with the members of the farm community dedicating themselves to productive work. In the course of Chapter 30, two important encounters take place that influence Candide's decision--the encounter with the Turkish philosopher (the dervish) and the encounter with the old man. Candide, Martin, and Pangloss are looking for advice when they visit the dervish, a devout member of a Muslim religious order. His advice is simple: "Hold your tongue." The dervish wants no part of Pangloss's systems and abstractions. And in his refusal to answer directly Candide's questions about evil, the dervish appears to deny man's ability to find the answers to certain age-old questions. Is Voltaire, in the role of the "best philosopher in Turkey," denying the validity of all philosophy, of any attempt to systematize reality? Is his answer to the question of evil in the world simply that it's not worth asking? The second encounter provides the positive element needed for Candide and his two companions to resolve their problem. The dervish showed them what they didn't need. The good old man, through his example, is able to show them what they ought do. They must cultivate their garden. What cultivating one's garden implies is the great question in Candide. Some readers have seen the garden as a retreat from the world, a symbolic turning of one's back on corruption and evil. Such retreat appears to be a mark of pessimism--the world is evil and there is nothing you can do about it. It can also be seen in a more positive way--by concentrating contentedly on one's own domain, however limited, one can hope to improve at least a corner of the world. Other readers see the conclusion as Voltaire's rejection of philosophy's effectiveness and a call to action. Man's role on earth is to do, not to worry about why he is here or why evil exists. Such a conclusion might seem to cast doubt on the meaning of Voltaire's life as a philosopher. Do you think Voltaire had this in mind? Or, would he distinguish between fighting injustice with words and merely arguing about its causes? NOTE: The commitment to action was labeled by some "meliorism." It stated that people, through reason, can devise a means of improving both society and the individual's condition in society. This belief in progress, and in the positive power of human reason, was common to the 18th century, often called the era of the Enlightenment. All may not always be for the best, but people can work to make things better. By doing your part to improve conditions, instead of merely preaching, you may even influence others. Some would say that by selling the fruits of their "garden" to the city, Candide and his friends are symbolically spreading their ideas to the outside world. The conclusion of Candide would not be possible without certain changes that have taken place in Candide himself. Through his experiences, Candide has realized the impossibility of philosophical optimism. But he also rejects both the pessimism and cynicism that he has observed do not bring contentment. Candide arrives at his own solution, based on observation and experience. He has developed the ability to judge for himself. In Chapter 30 he may still rely on the old woman for advice in practical matters, but he makes his final decision about life alone, after personal reflection. That his decision is a wise one is suggested when the others agree to go along with him. Everyone realizes that it is time to stop talking and start doing. The implications of Candide's decision can be interpreted in different ways. Nevertheless, certain aspects of the story's conclusion are inescapable: Philosophical optimism is not a viable explanation for life; the existence of evil in the world has no satisfactory explanation; observation and experience are better teachers than philosophy. Although people today would generally agree with these conclusions, there is still much debate on the proper responses to injustice, poverty, and evil in the form of war and genocide. Some people think these evils will always exist; others think they can be eliminated by radical solutions. And still others, like Candide, look toward gradual improvements as the only solution. The questions that Voltaire posed in the 18th century are still with us. What solutions would you propose for problems in your community, like crime, poverty, or ignorance? In what way are your answers similar to or different from Martin, Dr. Pangloss, and the Candide of Chapter 30? ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: GLOSSARY ANDALUSIAN STEEDS Horses from Andalusia, a province in southern Spain. CADI Minor Muslim magistrate or judge. CADIZ Port city in southwestern Spain. CARNIVAL Period of feasting before Lent (Mardi Gras). CAYENNE Seaport in French Guiana, near Surinam. DEY Governor of Algiers. FARO Card game in which the players bet on which card the dealer will turn up. The players are called punters. FAUBOURG City district, or suburb. GALLEY Sailing ship powered by oars. Criminals were often sentenced to row in the galleys. IMAM Muslim religious leader or holy man. INCAS Members of a highly developed Peruvian Indian culture, conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century. JANIZARIES (also Janissarier) Turkish soldiers, especially the members of the sultan's guard. KNIGHTS OF MALTA Military religious order, founded in the 12th century, noted as both soldiers and builders of hospitals. LEAGUE Unit of measurement for distance. Varies from country to country, approximately 2 1/2-4 1/2 miles. LEVANTINE From the Levant, the countries of the eastern Mediterranean. LOS PADRES Spanish for "the fathers"--that is, the Jesuits. MUFTI Interpreter of Muslim religious law. ORIGINAL SIN Belief that as the result of Adam's sin all people are tainted with sin. PAROLIGNAC, MARQUISE OF From the French "paroli," to double one's bet at cards. PIASTERS Unit of currency in Turkey and other areas of the Middle East. Also refers to Spanish coins. PROPONTIS Sea of Marmara, in Turkey. PUNTERS See Faro. QUARTERINGS Divisions of a coat of arms or shield indicating noble ancestry. QUOITS Ring toss game, like horseshoes. SERAGLIO Harem or a sultan's palace. SUFFICIENT REASON Principle of Leibniz's philosophy that justifies the existence of things in the form in which they are. The ultimate sufficient reason, for Leibniz, is God. THEATINE Member of a Catholic religious order, founded in Italy in 1524. TRANSYLVANIA Area of Romania, at one time an independent state. TUCUMAN City and province in northern Argentina. VIZIER High government official in Muslim countries. ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: ON VOLTAIRE Although many versions have been given even of Voltaire's fundamental ideas, there is in my opinion little reason for doubt. A long, intimate and sympathetic familiarity with his life and works has convinced me that two ideas dominate Voltaire, two ideas which form so intimate a part of his make-up that they call for the attention of the psychologist as much as the historian, two ideas which are at the base of all he thought and felt and did. These two things are a passion for justice and a belief in reason. -Theodore Besterman, Voltaire, 1976 ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: ON CANDIDE It ranks as one of the masterpieces of European literature, not primarily because of style but because of its realistic portrayal of the human condition. The character of the protagonist arouses our sympathy. We commiserate with his misfortunes at the same time that we derive amusement from his naivete. Apart from certain elements of the ludicrous and grotesque and humorous exaggeration incumbent upon the techniques of satire, Candide presents an essentially true picture of life. It addresses itself, moreover, to the basic philosophical questions of concern to all men: are we free to make our own choices or are we the puppets of destiny? and is the evil that we all perceive and experience the most pervasive force in the universe or can it be made subservient to a contrary force of beneficence? -A. Owen Aldridge, Voltaire and the Century of Light, 1975 Candide... written at white heat after Emilie's death, disillusionment with Frederick, and the Lisbon earthquake, demonstrates that our life is either suffering or boredom, philosophical optimism is the acme of folly, the concept of Providence is wishful thinking, and our sole salvation lies in fruitful work cultivating our garden. -Donald M. Frame, Introduction to Voltaire: Candide, Zadig, and Selected Stories, 1981 ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: ON ELDORADO Perhaps it is the vision of Eldorado that saves Candide (and Voltaire) from complete despair. For a brief time the hero is allowed to dwell in a never-never land, a composite of all the utopian dreams of the Enlightenment. -Howard E. Hugo, "Masterpieces of Neoclassicism," in Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, vol 2, 1980 ^^^^^^^^^^CANDIDE: ON THE CONCLUSION TO CANDIDE As for interpretations which dwell on "selfish indifference" and "the doctrine of minding one's own business," they are refuted by Voltaire's own words. Candide's garden is co-operatively cultivated by "the entire little community." Pomeau contends that Pangloss constitutes an exception: "He alone escapes the final reformation of the little community. Still addicted to metaphysico-nigology, still 'arguing without working,' he remains imperturbably Pangloss, the man who is nothing but talk." The text of the tale, however, makes Pangloss a member of "the entire little community," and therefore one of its active workers. Moreover, it represents him as relapsing only "sometimes" into otiose speculation. Like his companions, then, he becomes socially useful in accordance with deistic doctrine. But social utility is not confined to the "little community." The garden is not "an Iland, intire of it selfe." The sale of produce establishes a connection with the big city--a connection wherein it is the small model group which influences the world, and not the other way around. But if the garden is to be understood symbolically as well as literally, then its yield must be such as to affect not only the bodies but also the minds of men. -William F. Bottiglia, "Candide's Garden," in Voltaire: A Collection of Critical Essays, 1968 Here, in that concluding sentence of the tale, Voltaire has fused the lessons of ancient philosophy into a prescription: Men are thrown into the world to suffer and to dominate their suffering. Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats; life is a desert, but we can transform our corner into a garden. Talk is entertaining, but it is useful only when it directs us to our duties and possibilities, since action is irresponsible without a clear conception of duty and unrealistic without a fair appreciation of our possibilities. It is the task of philosophy to discover,... what is within our power and what is beyond it. Candide is thus a morality tale in the most concrete sense possible; it teaches, by example, the supremacy of realistic moral thinking. -Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation. Vol. 1, The Rise of Modern Paganism, 1966 THE END