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Candide: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

During his escape, Candide learns that Cunégonde's jewels and money—given to her by the Grand Inquisitor—have been stolen by a friar. Though he is upset that the friar left them 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 else.
This is the first example of Candide's indifferent attitude toward money. Rather than helping him, money and wealth only create problems for Candide, and how exactly the Inquisitor's jewels fit this pattern can be seen in Chapter 13.
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Candide, Cunégonde, and the old woman arrive at Cadiz, where a military company is being mustered by the Spanish and Portuguese to put down a rebellion of Jesuits and Indians in Paraguay. Candide impresses the recruiters so much with his military exercises (learned from the Bulgarians) that they make him a captain, and give him command overs an entire company. With Cunégonde and the old woman, he embarks on a ship for the New World. Candide expresses the opinion that perhaps the New World is the “best of all possible worlds,” described by Pangloss.
Candide's being made a captain is yet another episode in the novel's ongoing satire of the military: although we have seen earlier that Candide is a coward on the battlefield, his physical movements are apparently enough to impress the superficial military recruiters. Optimism about the New World was common in Voltaire's Europe. Many groups of people, religiously motivated or otherwise, saw it as a place to build more perfect societies. Candide's opinion in this chapter is the first adjustment he makes to Pangloss' doctrine, to try and make optimism fit better with his experiences.
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