Candide

El Dorado Symbol Analysis

El Dorado Symbol Icon
El Dorado represents the kind of world imagined by utopian philosophers. El Dorado might be the “best of all possible worlds,” but at the same time, it is made to seem unbelievable. Even more importantly, El Dorado is inhuman. As we see throughout Candide, and learn explicitly by the end, “man is not born to be idle,” and the happiness of the El Doradans is based on their idleness: they always stay put. El Dorado symbolizes the impossibility of utopian dreams. The novel suggests that the same desires which cause Candide and Cacambo to leave El Dorado would make any utopian society impossible—mankind is too restless.

El Dorado Quotes in Candide

The Candide quotes below all refer to the symbol of El Dorado. 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 18 Quotes

“...but being surrounded by inaccessible rocks and precipices, we have hitherto been sheltered from the rapaciousness of European nations, who have an inconceivable passion for the pebbles and dirt of our land, for the sake of which they would murder us to the last man.”

Related Characters: The Old Man of El Dorado (speaker)
Related Symbols: El Dorado
Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:

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