Dutch Antibaptist Jacque is only in chapters 3-5 of Candide
Candide Scholars debate his signifigance in the novel
Most scholars believe Jacques to be the only truly self-sacrificing figure
this scholar belives Jaques to be more of a self-interested business man than a naiver do-gooder
In chapter three candied is fleeing from military service in the Bulgarian/Abarian war
Candide meets Jacques while fleeing
When no one else will help Candide and he is penniless and starving in Holland
Jacques comes along to help Candide and is described as “an honest Anabaptist”
Voltire uses satire when Jaques makes an objection to how Candide was being treated
Jacques refers to Candide as his brother-
"cruel and ignominious treatment of one of his brothers, a featherless two-legged creature with a soul [Candide]; he took him home, cleaned him up, gave him bread and beer, presented him with two forms [eighty cents in that period's money, but about twenty dollars today], and even offered to teach him to work at the manufacture of Persian stuffs which are made in Holland" (235-36).
It is revealed that Jacques is not as innocent as a soul as he claims
He is a dishonest salesman
Jacques fraudulently tries to sell and pass of rugs as tapestries
He is manufacturing the rugs for sale in holland as more exotic and expensive “Persian stuffs”
Jacques is a kind yet dishonest business man
Jacques wants Candide to be one of his workers possibly in a sweatshop
his generosity to Candide may not of been unselfish
it is possible Jacques only fed Candide knowing that he would owe him and then Candide might work for him cheaply
The Anabaptist is also cheap and possibly hired a quack or underqualified doctor
This led to the loss of Pangloss’s eye and one ear.
This is satirized as "Pangloss only lost one eye and one ear"
After paying for Pangloss to be cures he tries to make use of his abilities
Pangloss is well educated-"he could write well and knew arithmetic perfectly"-and the Anabaptist makes him his bookkeeper (238-39)
Jacques most likely employed the scholar for very little expense (cheap labor)
Jacques is a character that expects to have increased efficiency and profits for his generosity
"and notwithstanding his gentle disposition...floors the Israelite, stone dead at the feet of the lovely Cunegonde."
Candide quickly kills someone who might interfere with his happiness
"you who were born so gentle, to do away with a Jew and a prelate in the space of two minutes?"
this shows that no one can be gentle all the time (speaks to human nature)
"and if there turns out to be a single one of them who has not repeatedly cursed his existence, who has not often said to himself that he is the most unfortunate man alive, then you may throw me into the sea head first."
The woman suggests that her life is worse than Cunegonde
Then she makes a point that everyone has seen a hard time
the old woman refers to their love of life as a "ridiculous weakness,"
New World- Candide feels that all will be well in this new place
Candide even found negatives in the Americas
"this hemisphere is no better than the other."
Candide finds a Utopia in El Dorado
The city of El Dorado is dependent upon isolation
The happiness and innocence is only able to exist without outside intervention
we need the though that there is a Utopia out there
If we just try hard enough, or work enough one day things will be perfect
"All may be well," he wrote in a poem, "that hope can man sustain,/All is well now; 'tis an illusion vain." Eldorado is the fictional illusion that represents the historical hope.
Hope is necessary for society to function
*Irony is that in a story of so many tragedy’s there is a happy ending
Why does this philosophical tale contain no real philosophical discussion?
Why is Cunegonde the only person to age and become ugly?
Candide is a satire, not a confession
This means that he is pointing out the short-comings in the world
He also points out that even to solutions are not sufficient
“He wishes to represent a world that is not absurd and useless, but mysterious”
Voltaire suggests that the world is "simultaneously livable and bad."
Voltaire's "lesson" is both that life is not worth much, and that this "not much" is of the highest value.
“the happy ending is at once ironic and an invitation not to overdo our sense of misery.”
Voltaire's philosophy doesn't require philosophical discussion, indeed requires its absence
in Voltaire's other works. The hero of Zadig turns to philosophy when he has a problem, but receives "only knowledge," and no relief.
"There are no extreme delights or extreme torments which will last a whole lifetime: the sovereign good and the sovereign evil are illusions."
"Man can have only a certain quantity of teeth, hair, and ideas. A time comes when he necessarily loses his teeth, his hair, and his ideas." But there is more to be said, and not only about the loss of Cunegonde's looks.
Candide takes a view that nothing in the world is certain (but he would be happy to see Cunegonde
Cacambo says, "I agree, but we still have two sheep laden with more treasure than the King of Spain will ever possess."
"That is well said, but we must cultivate our garden."
The garden is what there is, beneath and beyond our words;
even philosophy is welcome in the garden
The philosophy must not insist on having any consequences
Philosophy must not get in the way of work, the active cultivation of that earth.
To cultivate the garden, then, is not simply to mind one's own business, a wiser, more sophisticated version of the selfishness the book attacked at its outset. It is to decide not to seek answers to questions that can have none; to remember the concrete "buts" that lie in wait for every grand abstraction
"Review of Candide." The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle 29 (May 1759): 233-235. Rpt. in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Ed. James P. Draper and James E. Person, Jr. Vol. 14. Detroit: Gale Research, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Nov. 2010.
Candide ridicule the idea that ‘all things are for the best’
The book points out evil in the world- war, disease, crime, natural disasters etc.
There is always misery in society
The author of nature: indefinitely good?
If indefinitely good than this is the best of possible worlds
If this isn’t the best of all possible worlds than the author of nature isn’t indefinably good
Debates the topic of ‘whatever is, is right’
Points out these negativities to argue that the author of nature is not indefinitely good
The debate that the author of nature is good stands that we are not knowledgeable enough to understand that the negatives have a purpose
Voltaire understands the philosophy of which he ridicules
In this way he is able to extensively point out the flaws in the optimistic view point
The author relates this ridicule and type of satire to a man offered poison
The man offered poison will end up still alive or dead
The author suggests the man does not live if he doesn’t drink the poison
If the man drinks the poison he will either live or die
“Not considering, that the means and the end are inseparable, and that if it is certain that a man shall die by poison, it is also certain that he shall drink it. (pp. 233-34)”
Thus pointing out the ignorance in the idea that ‘living’ means to our society
Reed, Gail S. "Candide: Radical Simplicity and the Impact of Evil." Literature and Psychoanalysis. Ed. Edith Kurzweil and William Phillips. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983. 189-200. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Vol. 112. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Nov. 2010.
Candide follow a familiar story line Voltaire is known for
The protagonist is naïve searching the globe for a woman
In this novel, by the middle of the plot the main character has emotional impact
This suggests the way in which the author faces the existence of evil
How does this interdependence of the reader and the text effect the reader?
The reader does not only react to the text but experience the events through the writing
The experience in Candide is relatable
The pursuit of a wish and frustration is universally understandable
All readers react differently to a text
The reader may feel an array of emotions including anger, displeasure or gratification
The way the plot is organized contributes to the impact of evil
There is a pattern of “expectation and betrayal”
“The hero, innocently desiring Cunégonde and faithfully believing his tutor, is cast out into a best of all possible worlds which proves a mutilating inferno”
Pangloss has taught him this is the best of all possible worlds
When Candide meets difficult situations this belief seems illogical
“Despairing, cold, hungry, and penniless, he finds his flagging faith restored by two strangers who treat him to dinner--then brusquely trick him into military servitude where he is robbed of any modicum of individuality and freedom, and finally stripped of his skin in a beating.”
He is in need, his need is met, he is betrayed and only helped to be hurt
The old woman has a similar story of disappointments
She was once awaiting to be married, when he future husband was murdered
Then “ravished, enslaved, and made witness to the dismemberment of her mother and attendants”
When she thinks that someone has come to rescue her from the pile of dead bodies, the men sell her to be a slave
These tragic events are the normal scene in the novel numbing the reader to constant disappointment
This causes a strong urge to seek security
This pattern of misfortunes is briefly broken in El Dorado
The noel only allows retreat for a short time once gone from El Dorado evil prevails
“Children are castrated to sing in operas, slaves dismembered for disobedience, the military takes brutal possession of Candide's body”
“When brutality is committed in the name of good, when justice condones robbery and charges a fee, when freedom involves a choice between death by clubbing or firing squad, then language becomes the agent of social deception and the social world beyond the magic circle a place of uncertain perception as well as of danger.”
The repeated events of bad in a world that id called good evokes emotion in the reader
The chapter breaks serve as loss of control for the reader the in between events of consecutive events are summarized in a frustrating way for the reader
Voltaire couples comedy with shock to maximize reader response
“For the first half of the tale, over and over again, deftly and economically, the narrative moves the reader from safety to new danger:”
The event of the narrative are made to seem by chance and out of control
This chaos leads to a view from facts to emotions
text structure causes the reader to be in a cycle of wish, frustration, and reactive anger
This cycling emotion causes the reader emotion and wish for “warmth, safety, and security”
Harad, Alyssa. "Interpretive Notes." Candide. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. 153-60. Print.
Themes and Symbols: The Problem of Evil
Candide focuses on the evil that men do as a central theme
Most of the disasters in Candide are man caused (apart from the earthquake)
Though Candide no longer follows Optimism his belief is not replaced
He does not take Martin’s pessimism (too destructive)
“Glories of El Dorado too out of touch with the real world”
Guidelines for Candide’s philosophy may be in the old waman’s resilience or Cacambo’s loyalty
Voltaire offers no solution to the problem of evil
This is apparent in the garden
In the conclusion Candide tells his group that they must tend their gardens
Can be interpreted many ways from extremely literal to figuratively
Literal- Voltaire really enjoyed gardening at his Ferney estate
Allegorical- perhaps Voltaire is suggesting we all live in self-supporting communities
There are many gardens in the book Candide could be referencing
Could be a reference to domesticated nature
Could be Voltaire’s dispute with Rousseau (believed man was essentially good)
The Fickleness of Power and Wealth
Bad things happen to everyone
Even when Candide had wealth he still faced evil
Candide’s fortunes inflate and deflate often
Martin and the old woman- “misery belongs to everyone, and everyone believes his miseries to be the worst.”
Friendship versus Sex and Romance
Candide is a character propelled by his love of Cunegonde
This desire leads to trouble and constant tragedy
Cunegonde’s desire is what starts Candide’s misadventures
Sex and romance gets Pangloss and Cunegonde’s brother in trouble
Cacambo, the old woman, and Martin are true friend and loyal that resist temptations to go agaist what they strive for
“And it is, finally, a kind of friendship that binds together Candide’s motley crew at the last.”
Harad, Alyssa. "Historical and Literary Context" Candide. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. XIII-XVII. Print.
Voltaire lived in the time of The Enlightement
This revolution of ideas threatened the church and governments of Europe
The work of Galileo and Martin Luther had started to take effect
Scientist Isaac Newton, Philosopher John Locke- new ways of learning
The Enlightenment created new interest for knowledge and debate
Optimism was a philosophy prevalent in Voltaire’s time
The view was expressed by German Philosopher G.W. von Leibniz’s treatise Theodicée (1710), Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man (1733)
Optimism was the idea that God was all-knowing and powerful and nothing could exist without his permission
To believe in evil was to believe in a power beyond God’s control
The Lisbon earthquake inspired Voltaire
It killed tens of thousands of people on All Saints day November 1, 1755
Eighteen days later another earthquake leveled the city
This gave Optimists a pause- they suggested it was just punishment for people living in cities instead of on the countryside with nature God created
Voltaire created the book to point out the problems with this way of thinking
Satire is a story that sets out to expose the prevailing follies of its day
Candide sets out to explore the problem in the philosophy of optimism