Candide

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Candide Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A storm overtakes the ship as it arrives in the Bay of Lisbon. Jacques tries to take command of the ship, but is hit by a soldier, who falls into the water by the force of his own punch. Jacques rescues the sailor who has hit him, but falls into the water as he does so. The sailor lets him drown, and when Candide attempts a rescue, Pangloss explains that he must not: he argues that the Bay of Lisbon was created specifically to drown Jacques. The ship breaks apart, and Pangloss and Candide float on a plank to Lisbon. As soon as they arrive, the Lisbon Earthquake takes place, and more than thirty thousand people die.
Jacques the Anabaptist is allowed to die by a man he has just rescued. Tens of thousands of innocent people die in the earthquake. Both of these events challenge the idea of divine justice: that God has created a fair world, where the good are rewarded and the innocent are safe. Pangloss' ridiculous attempt to explain that the Bay Of Lisbon was created precisely to cause Jacque’s drowning is a further example of his philosophy's inability to convincingly connect the world's chaos to a harmonious divine plan.
Themes
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Candide lies buried underneath the rubble of a building which has collapsed during the earthquake. He cries out for Pangloss to help him. Instead of going to get help immediately, Pangloss argues with him about the causes of the “concussion of the earth,” which has just occurred.
This bit of slapstick humor further emphasizes Pangloss' (and philosophy's) detachment from the world: he would rather argue and reason about the earthquake than deal with its dire and immediate consequences and help a friend.
Themes
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Pangloss consoles the victims of the earthquake by explaining that “it is impossible that things should be other than they are; for everything is right.” He is overheard by a servant of the Spanish Inquisition, who accuses him of denying original sin and free will, important elements of Catholic doctrine.
Pangloss' “consolation,” consists mostly in repeating what has happened. This is another jab at Pangloss' philosophy: it is not only useless in determining the truth, but also in offering sympathy and comfort. Worse, this reasoning gets Pangloss into serious trouble with religious powers that have a different interpretation of the world.
Themes
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon