Candide Group Analysis Chapters 21-25



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Candide Group Analysis Chapters 21-25

In this part of the novel, Voltaire’s voice is loud and clear and is expressed through a number of characters. Divide the following questions among the members of your group. Type your answers in order to share them with everyone in your group. Tomorrow, you will split up and, with all the answers, participate in a small group seminar made up of students who are not in your Candide group. So, it is vital that you have ALL the answers to the questions below for class tomorrow.
Chapter 21

In this chapter of Candide, we hear Voltaire’s criticism of France, particularly, Paris. He states, “ . . . wherever you go in France, you will find that their three chief occupations are making love, backbiting, and talking nonsense” (94). On the last page of this chapter, Voltaire lists a number of complaints he has against France and the larger world of mankind. What are they? Of those he lists, which are most relevant today? Why?
Chapter 22

In chapter 22, Voltaire continues to portray France through the eyes of Candide and other characters. Through Martin, Voltaire exclaims, “That’s how people here [France] are made. Imagine every possible contradiction and inconsistency, and you will find them in the government, the law-courts, the churches, and in the whole life of this absurd nation” (99-100). What happens to Candide in this chapter that reveals the absurdity of the French? How is Candide treated and cheated, and how does he too cheat?
Chapter 23

In chapter 23, Voltaire returns to the criticism of war, as a senseless act of mankind. What crime does he detail to again reveal this opinion to the reader? How is Candide’s comment, “‘ . . . to think of Pangloss and my dear Cunegonde, and all that has happened to them! What do you make of this world of ours?’” (110) connected to Voltaire’s opinion about war?
Chapter 24

In this chapter, Candide, ready to give up his search for Cunegonde, wagers a bet with Martin. What is the bet, and who wins? Does the winner prove what Candide says in the first paragraph of the chapter, “There is nothing here [the world] but illusion and one calamity after another” (112). Why does Candide change from melancholy to hopeful again by the end of this chapter?
Chapter 25

In this chapter, Voltaire’s voice again is clear and very critical. While Candide and Martin visit Count Pococurante, they endure the man’s criticism of art and literature, an irony common during the Enlightenment. With every criticism, Candide looks for some piece of art, drama or literature that is worthy. Yet, the Count continues to trash everything. By the end of the chapter, Candide is certain that the Count is the happiest man alive because he says, “’isn’t there a pleasure in criticizing everything and discovering faults where other men detect beauties?’” (124). What most impressed Candide about the Count? (see the middle of page 121) How is Candide’s ironic opinion of the Count another example of our ever changing Candide?


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