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Themes and Colors
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
Wealth Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Candide, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Wealth Theme Icon

Candide is a subtle critique of wealth and its pursuit. When Candide leaves El Dorado, laden with riches, it seems plausible that this newfound wealth will help him to find Cunégonde. Instead, it attracts no end of tricksters and hangers-on, from the Dutch merchant Vanderdendur who robs and abandons Candide in Suriname, to the imposter Cunégonde in Paris. Candide's vast riches (and their gradual disappearance) are one of the great ironies of the novel. Not only do his riches not help him—they hold him back, slowing down his journey as thieves and flatterers—like the Abbé of Perigord and the Marchioness of Parolignac—gather around him. In the world of this novel, the pursuit of wealth is not just immoral, but useless. The rich Venetian Pococuranté has everything he could ever need, but remains unhappy. Tellingly, in El Dorado, the one place in the novel which comes close to resembling “the best of all possible worlds,” wealth and valuables are treated as useless trifles. Candide himself takes the same attitude, never haggling with the characters who offer him outrageous prices.

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Wealth Quotes in Candide

Below you will find the important quotes in Candide related to the theme of Wealth.
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)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
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:

"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:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“For my part, I have so far held out against both, and I verily believe that this is the reason why I am still beloved.”

Related Characters: Cunégonde (speaker), The Grand Inquisitor, Don Issachar
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
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
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

“It is an admirable government. The kingdom is upwards of three hundred leagues in diameter, and divided into thirty provinces; there the Fathers possess all, and the people nothing; it is a masterpiece of reason and justice.”

Related Characters: Cacambo (speaker)
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
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)
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
Conclusion Quotes

“I have only twenty acres,” replied the old man; “I and my children cultivate them; our labour preserves us from three great evils—weariness, vice, and want.”

Related Characters: The Old Turkish Man (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Garden
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

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

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