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Candide: Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

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 his appointed evening with Cunégonde. Reasoning that the Inquisitor will likely take away Candide and have him burnt at the stake, Candide kills him as well. Candide, Cunégonde and the old woman flee the house for a village in the Sierra-Morena mountains.
The ridiculous ease with which Candide kills his two rivals and frees Cunégonde makes him a parody of the traditional epic hero, who might have a much more difficult and dramatic time freeing his lover from the clutches of his enemies. The juxtaposition of these two “lovers” of Cunégonde shows how meaningless the distinctions of religion and class can be, and how little role it plays in making people act morally: one is a powerful Grand Inquisitor, the other a Jewish merchant, but both end up killed by Candide in exactly the same way for exactly the same reason—their desire for and enslavement of Cunégonde.
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