Candide

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Candide's teacher, a philosopher who follows the teachings of the philosopher Leibniz. Pangloss argues that this world is “the best of all possible worlds,” and none of his many misfortunes—including enslavement, hanging, and losing an eye and an ear to syphilis—can convince him otherwise. His name means “all-tongue,” reflecting his tendency to speak at length about philosophy no matter what is going on.

Pangloss Quotes in Candide

The Candide quotes below are all either spoken by Pangloss or refer to Pangloss. 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
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Candide published in 1991.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“It is demonstrable," said he, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for all being created for an end, all is necessarily for the best end. Observe, that the nose has been formed to bear spectacles—thus we have spectacles. Legs are visibly designed for stockings—and we have stockings. Stones were made to be hewn, and to construct castles—therefore my lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Pigs were made to be eaten—therefore we eat pork all the year round. Consequently they who assert that all is well have said a foolish thing, they should have said all is for the best.”

Related Characters: Pangloss (speaker)
Page Number: 1-2
Explanation and Analysis:

In the opening pages of the novel, we're introduced to two of its main characters: Professor Pangloss and his pupil Candide. Candide is a classic "blank slate" narrator: he just soaks up information and experience. Here, for example, he learns from his professor that the world consists of everything that is the case; furthermore, the fact that everything in the world "fits together" (like a nose and spectacles) and was presumably created by a just God proves that the world is the best it can possibly be. Every event has a cause, and the ultimate result of any event must be happy in the end. In short, Pangloss believes that everything happens "for the best."

The passage is, needless to say, illogical and backwards, a parody of the optimism of Voltaire's contemporaries. Voltaire satirizes the famous "argument from design"--the idea that the world "fits together" and therefore must have been made by a benevolent God. But the examples that Voltaire puts in Pangloss's mouth prove that he doesn't take the argument from design very seriously: we all know that the nose wasn't formed to bear spectacles; it's the other way around. Humans haven't been given their place in the universe; rather, they've actively manipulated their environments to produce a comfortable world to live in (just as humans invented spectacles to fit on the nose).

The passage is a satire of religion and religious optimism in all its forms. There were many religious fanatics in Voltaire's lifetime who believed that everything was a blessing from God--even events that seemed tragic. Even the philosopher Leibnitz wasn't immune to this logic, and argued that evil is meant to produce good (i.e., everything happens for the best).

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Chapter 4 Quotes

“Alas!” said the other, “it was love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sensible beings, love, tender love.”

Related Characters: Pangloss (speaker)
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

In this darkly comic passage, Candide reunites with his old professor, Pangloss, who's caught syphilis. Candide, who's used to thinking of Pangloss as a cheerful, happy-go-lucky fellow, is shocked to see his old teacher looking so miserable. He asks Pangloss how he's come to catch such a horrible disease, and Pangloss sheepishly admits that he caught the disease because of "love" (he had sex with a chambermaid).

The passage is funny because previously, Pangloss had spoken of love in a lofty, abstract way: he'd claimed that love holds the universe together. Here, however, Pangloss is talking about a more human, earthly form of love: sex. His syphilis seems to undermine his previous thesis that everything happens for the best: on the contrary, the lofty forces he'd previously extolled, such as love, don't really exist; in their place we have real-world phenomena like sex and, unfortunately, disease. The notion of catching syphilis after sex is a cheeky inversion of Pangloss's old thesis: previously he'd claimed that a moment of sadness will inevitably be replaced by some happiness down the line; here, however, a moment of pleasure is immediately punished by a lifetime of discomfort.

"This present Paquette received of a learned Grey Friar, who had traced it to its source; he had had it of an old countess, who had received it from a cavalry captain, who owed it to a marchioness, who took it from a page, who had received it from a Jesuit, who when a novice had it in a direct line from one of the companions of Christopher Columbus. For my part I shall give it to nobody, I am dying."

Related Characters: Pangloss (speaker), Paquette
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Voltaire satirizes many different things at once. Candide is shocked to hear that Pangloss has contracted syphilis from Paquette, the chambermaid. Pangloss proceeds to list out the "history" of his particular disease, tracing its long genealogy all the way back to Christopher Columbus. The joke is that Pangloss's "genealogy" is a parody of people claiming nobility or greatness by listing their ancestors, but this list is just one of people passing syphilis on to each other. Furthermore, in the "genealogy" Voltaire brings down the institutions and members of the clergy, the aristocracy, and the military to Pangloss's level as well--they're all just humans and human ideas, passing around human diseases, despite all their wealth and pretensions.

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)
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Candide and Pangloss have just witnessed the famous Lisbon Earthquake, a massive tragedy and one of the key events in religious history. The Lisbon Earthquake went down as a symbol of the unpredictability of the world: Lisbon was regarded as one of the holiest cities on the planet, and yet God seemingly chose to destroy it. Voltaire parodies the naive acceptance of tragedy that followed the earthquake, depicting Pangloss and Candide bickering over the "causes" of the catastrophe (as Candide is buried under wreckage, by the way).

Candide and Pangloss believe that it is important to identify the causes of the earthquake, and conclude that God is judging all of mankind (it's the Biblical "Last Day" of mankind). The point of the scene is that Pangloss and Candide can't accept that today's accident is just a random event, and move past this to actually help the people being hurt. Instead, they feel the universe must have a "plan," and therefore God must have intended the earthquake to happen--and the philosophy behind the earthquake is more important than the individuals affected by it.

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
Page Number: 36
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Candide prepares to rescue Cunegonde from the hands of her "owner," Don Fernando. Candide offhandedly mentions that he hopes to marry Cunegonde one day, a statement that Cunegonde's brother, the Young Baron, finds absurd. The Young Baron insists that Candide is not nobly born, and therefore not worthy to marry an aristocratic lady like his sister. Candide replies that he's always been taught that all men are created equal; therefore, he's a perfectly suitable match for Cunegonde.

The passage is an interesting example of how Candide, in spite of his naivete and occasional foolishness, has some pretty good ideas (and Voltaire just uses Candide's naïveté to show the bad ideas human society has come up with). Candide thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, an idea that Voltaire clearly finds laughable, and yet he also believes in a classic Enlightenment tenet: all men are equal (an idea that Voltaire believes whole-heartedly).The Young Baron comes across as a comically irate, conceited character, so obsessed with genealogy and blood that he hesitates to save his own sister from capture (capture from the eminently aristocratic Don Fernando, by the way).

Conclusion Quotes

“You are right,” said Pangloss, “for when man was first placed in the Garden of Eden, he was put there ut operaretur eum, that he might cultivate it; which shows that man was not born to be idle.”

Related Characters: Pangloss (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Garden
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Professor Pangloss responds to the example set by the Old Turkish man, who has just finished explaining the importance of work and labor. Pangloss, despite spending most of the book blindly blessing every event as "God's will," immediately converts to the Old Man's point of view and now claims that it's important to work in the real world, rather than trusting in divine providence.

Why does Pangloss change his mind so quickly? Perhaps the passage is meant to show that Pangloss is just a follower, easily convinced of any point of view, provided that he can find Biblical (or philosophical) justification for it. In a way, the passage is one of the most prophetic in the novel: it illustrates the way that religious factions can fight and even kill over their beliefs, and yet also change their beliefs at the drop of a hat. (For example, in modern times, Christian leaders openly believe that the Earth revolves around the Sun; 500 years before, their predecessors tried to kill Galileo because he dared to argue this scientific truth. A whole string of Panglosses moved Christianity from one point of view to  the other.)

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Pangloss Character Timeline in Candide

The timeline below shows where the character Pangloss 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
...illegitimate nephew of the Baron, but nobody knows for certain. He studies metaphysico-theologico-cosmolo-nigology under Professor Pangloss, who teaches that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and further, that... (full context)
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
One day Cunégonde, daughter of the Baron, happens upon Pangloss having sex with Paquette, a chambermaid. Intrigued, she determines to do the same with Candide.... (full context)
Chapter 3
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
...cleans him, feeds him, and helps him recover. Candide, relieved, expresses his renewed faith in Pangloss' optimism. (full context)
Chapter 4
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
...a walk, he comes across a man with syphilis. The man turns out to be Pangloss, and the two have a tearful reunion. Pangloss informs Candide that Bulgarians invaded Thunder-ten-tronckh, raping... (full context)
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
The conversation turns to Pangloss' syphilis. When Candide asks what the “sufficient cause,” of his illness was, Pangloss explains that... (full context)
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Candide convinces Jacques the Anabaptist to pay for Pangloss' cure. Pangloss loses an eye and an ear to syphilis, but recovers. After two months,... (full context)
Chapter 5
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Pangloss consoles the victims of the earthquake by explaining that “it is impossible that things should... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
...for the punishment of sinners and heretics) is the best way to prevent further earthquakes. Pangloss is lead off to be hung for his heresy, and Candide, to be whipped for... (full context)
Chapter 8
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
...the day of 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... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...insufficient money to travel with, he accepts that everything on earth belongs to everyone, as Pangloss taught him, and that the friar had as much right to the money as anyone... (full context)
Chapter 15
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
...Issachar, that she wants to marry him, and that all men are equal according to Pangloss. The Reverend Commandant slaps Candide across the face with the flat of his blade. In... (full context)
Chapter 18
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
...divisions or sects, and all worship consists in giving thanks to God. Candide concludes that Pangloss was wrong about the “best of all possible worlds,” being in Westphalia: if he had... (full context)
Chapter 22
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...Thunder-ten-tronckh. Candide speaks to a wise man about art and philosophy, and considers him “another Pangloss.” But the Marchioness complains that he is a nobody, a man who has never had... (full context)
Chapter 27
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
...possible to measure the relative unhappiness of individuals. Halfway through the voyage, Candide discovers that Pangloss and the Young Baron—thought dead—are slaves on the galley. As soon as they reach the... (full context)
Chapter 28
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
The Young Baron and Pangloss tell Candide and Martin how they each ended up enslaved. Soon after recovering from the... (full context)
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Pangloss then begins to tell his own story. Though he was hung at the auto-da-fé, this... (full context)
Chapter 29
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
Finally, Candide, Martin, Pangloss, Cacambo and the Young Baron arrive at the palace where Cunégonde and the old woman... (full context)
Conclusion
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Love and Women Theme Icon
...Jesuits in Rome. Afterwards, he purchases and lives on a small farm with Cunégonde, Cacambo, Pangloss, Martin, and the old woman. Though they are at last reunited, they are all unhappy:... (full context)
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Candide, Martin, Pangloss, Cacambo, Cunégonde and the old woman spend their days arguing about the meaning of life.... (full context)
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
...their endless philosophical debates, Candide and the other remaining characters visit a wise Dervish. Using Pangloss as a spokesperson, they ask the Dervish why man was made, and why there is... (full context)
Optimism and Disillusion Theme Icon
The Enlightenment and Social Criticism Theme Icon
Religion and Philosophy vs. The World Theme Icon
Later, Candide, Martin and Pangloss meet a local farmer, who invites them into his house for a meal. They start... (full context)