Candide

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Candide Character Analysis

The protagonist of Candide. He is a simple man with good judgment and a pure heart, who spends the novel in search of his beloved Cunégonde. During his journey, he goes back and forth between the optimism taught to him by Pangloss, and the pessimism which his experiences—and Martin—teach him. His name means “white,” or “shining,” and indicates his innocence and purity of heart.

Candide Quotes in Candide

The Candide quotes below are all either spoken by Candide or refer to Candide. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
).
Chapter 2 Quotes

Candide, all stupefied, could not yet very well realize how he was a hero. He resolved one fine day in spring to go for a walk, marching straight before him, believing that it was a privilege of the human as well as of the animal species to make use of their legs as they pleased.

Related Characters: Candide
Chapter 3 Quotes

“My friend,” said the orator to him, “do you believe the Pope to be Anti-Christ?”
“I have not heard it,” answered Candide; “but whether he be, or whether he be not, I want bread.”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker), The Protestant Orator (speaker)
Chapter 5 Quotes

“What can be the sufficient reason of this phenomenon?” said Pangloss.
“This is the Last Day!” cried Candide.

Related Characters: Candide (speaker), Pangloss (speaker)
Chapter 6 Quotes

“If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker)
Chapter 13 Quotes

They landed at Buenos Ayres. Cunegonde, Captain Candide, and the old woman, waited on the Governor, Don Fernando d'Ibaraa, y Figueora, y Mascarenes, y Lampourdos, y Souza. This nobleman had a stateliness becoming a person who bore so many names. He spoke to men with so noble a disdain, carried his nose so loftily, raised his voice so unmercifully, assumed so imperious an air, and stalked with such intolerable pride, that those who saluted him were strongly inclined to give him a good drubbing.

Chapter 14 Quotes

“You'll make a prodigious fortune; if we cannot find our account in one world we shall in another. It is a great pleasure to see and do new things.”

Related Characters: Cacambo (speaker), Candide
Chapter 15 Quotes

“Reverend Father, all the quarterings in the world signify nothing; I rescued your sister from the arms of a Jew and of an Inquisitor; she has great obligations to me, she wishes to marry me; Master Pangloss always told me that all men are equal, and certainly I will marry her.”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker), Pangloss, The Young Baron
Chapter 19 Quotes

“What is this optimism?” said Cacambo.
“Alas!” said Candide, “it is the madness of maintaining that everything is right when it is wrong.”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker), Cacambo (speaker)
Chapter 22 Quotes

“I have seen the worst," Candide replied. "But a wise man, who since has had the misfortune to be hanged, taught me that all is marvelously well; these are but the shadows on a beautiful picture.”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker), Pangloss
Chapter 25 Quotes

“But is there not a pleasure,” said Candide “ in criticizing everything, in pointing out faults where others see nothing but beauties?”
“That is to say,” replied Martin, “that there is some pleasure in having no pleasure.”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker), Martin (speaker)
Conclusion Quotes

“All that is very well,” answered Candide, “but let us cultivate our garden.”

Related Characters: Candide (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Garden
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Candide Character Timeline in Candide

The timeline below shows where the character Candide appears in Candide. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Candide is raised in Westphalia, in the castle of the Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh. He is suspected... (full context)
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
...Pangloss having sex with Paquette, a chambermaid. Intrigued, she determines to do the same with Candide. Finding Candide behind a screen in the castle, she drops her handkerchief and lets him... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Candide, distraught, makes his way to an inn in a neighboring town. There, he is tricked... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Candide goes into battle with the Bulgarians against the Abares. While the army band plays fifes,... (full context)
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Wealth Theme Icon
Having nothing, Candide makes his way to Holland, because he’s heard that it is a rich country. He... (full context)
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Seeing how badly Candide is being treated, a kind Anabaptist named Jacques takes him home, cleans him, feeds him,... (full context)
Chapter 4
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When Candide goes for a walk, he comes across a man with syphilis. The man turns out... (full context)
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The conversation turns to Pangloss' syphilis. When Candide asks what the “sufficient cause,” of his illness was, Pangloss explains that he received the... (full context)
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Candide convinces Jacques the Anabaptist to pay for Pangloss' cure. Pangloss loses an eye and an... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...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... (full context)
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Candide lies buried underneath the rubble of a building which has collapsed during the earthquake. He... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
...to prevent further earthquakes. Pangloss is lead off to be hung for his heresy, and Candide, to be whipped for having listened with approval. The auto-da-fé takes place amid sermons and... (full context)
Chapter 7
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An old woman comes across Candide and convinces him to come home with her. She takes care of him, but does... (full context)
Chapter 8
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After Candide finishes telling his story, Cunégonde tells Candide what has happened to her. When the attack... (full context)
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...to live in his country house—the very house where Cunégonde is telling this story to Candide. One day at mass, the Grand Inquisitor took a liking to Cunégonde, and attempted to... (full context)
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The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
...the auto-da-fé, the Grand Inquisitor brought Cunégonde to watch. When she saw Pangloss executed and Candide whipped, she cried out in horror. Later, she arranged for the old woman to look... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Cursing aloud at Cunégonde, Don Issachar draws his knife and throws himself at Candide, who quickly kills him. Two minutes later, the Grand Inquisitor arrives at the house for... (full context)
Chapter 10
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During his escape, Candide learns that Cunégonde's jewels and money—given to her by the Grand Inquisitor—have been stolen by... (full context)
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Candide, Cunégonde, and the old woman arrive at Cadiz, where a military company is being mustered... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Love and Women Theme Icon
...somehow still love it, and continue in our struggles against death and pain. She tells Candide and Cunégonde that if they can find a single passenger on the ship who has... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Upon arriving in Buenos Aires, Candide and Cunégonde are brought to meet Don Fernando, the Governor. Don Fernando takes a clear... (full context)
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...woman learns that an Alcade (magistrate) is about to land in Buenos Aires and arrest Candide for the murder of the Grand Inquisitor. The Alcade learned of the whereabouts of Candide... (full context)
Chapter 14
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As the Inquisitor's minions arrive, Candide flees from Buenos Aires with his valet, Cacambo. Cacambo proposes bringing him to the kingdom... (full context)
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When they arrive, Candide is told that the Reverend Commandant does not speak with Spaniards. When the Reverend Commandant... (full context)
Chapter 15
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The Commandant expresses the hope that he and Candide might be able to rescue Cunégonde from the clutches of Don Fernando. Candide agrees, mentioning... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Candide and Cacambo flee from the Jesuit camp into the unknown territory. They come across two... (full context)
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The Oreillons are making preparations to boil Candide and Cacambo alive. Candide despairs. However, at the last moment, Cacambo makes a speech to... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Once they are out of Paraguay, Cacambo and Candide deliberate on where to go next. They decide to head to the city Cayenne, and... (full context)
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Pulling themselves along the rocks to the end of the stream, Candide and Cacambo find themselves in a large plain enclosed by inaccessible mountains. They come upon... (full context)
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Cacambo leads Candide into an inn. There, the two converse with the guests and the landlord. Before leaving,... (full context)
Chapter 18
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The landlord leads Candide to the house of an old wise man who might be able to answer his... (full context)
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Eventually, however, Cacambo convinces Candide to leave by arguing that in El Dorado, they are only equal to their neighbors:... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Giddy with their newfound wealth, Candide and Cacambo set out for Suriname, a port from which they plan to take a... (full context)
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Upon his arrival in Suriname, Candide learns that Cunégonde has become Don Fernando's favorite mistress. He is upset, but plans to... (full context)
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Candide arranges for the Dutch merchant Vanderdendur to take him to Venice. At the last minute,... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Throughout the voyage, Candide and Martin debate philosophically. Martin explains that he has seen so many misfortunes that he... (full context)
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In the midst of their debates, the ship which Candide and Martin are traveling on passes close by two ships engaged in combat. The French... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Finally, Candide and Martin come within sight of the coast of France. Candide asks Martin about France,... (full context)
Chapter 22
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The Abbé takes Candide and Martin to the house of the Marchioness of Parolignac, where a group of men... (full context)
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Leaving the home of the Marchioness, Candide speaks with the Abbé of Perigord, telling him the story of his adventures. The Abbé... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Disgusted with France, Candide expresses to Martin his hope that England will be a better country. But as soon... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Arriving with Martin in Venice, Candide is disappointed not to immediately find Cunégonde. Martin believes that Cacambo has run off with... (full context)
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...and was forced to become a monk by his parents. Martin wins the bet, but Candide prolongs it by giving Paquette and Giroflée a large sum of money. With money, he... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Candide and Martin travel to the house of Senator Pococuranté. The Senator lives in a house... (full context)
Chapter 26
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At a Venetian inn, Candide and Martin sit down for dinner with six strangers. There, a slave approaches Candide privately... (full context)
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...have fallen on hard times, and who have come to enjoy the carnival in Venice. Candide and Martin suspect that this must be one of the masquerades of the carnival. (full context)
Chapter 27
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The next day, Cacambo arranges for Candide and Martin to be taken on a ship headed for Constantinople, where Cunégonde is a... (full context)
Chapter 28
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The Young Baron and Pangloss tell Candide and Martin how they each ended up enslaved. Soon after recovering from the wounds from... (full context)
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...He was assigned to the same galley as the Young Baron, and by the time Candide found him, the two had been arguing endlessly over whose misfortunes were worse. When asked... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Finally, Candide, Martin, Pangloss, Cacambo and the Young Baron arrive at the palace where Cunégonde and the... (full context)
Conclusion
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Candide, Martin, Pangloss, Cacambo, Cunégonde and the old woman spend their days arguing about the meaning... (full context)
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Hoping to resolve their endless philosophical debates, Candide and the other remaining characters visit a wise Dervish. Using Pangloss as a spokesperson, they... (full context)
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Later, Candide, Martin and Pangloss meet a local farmer, who invites them into his house for a... (full context)