Candide’s new valet Cacambo is fond of his master and urges Candide to follow the old woman’s advice. Cacambo tells Candide not to worry about Cunégonde because God always takes care of women. Cacambo suggests that they fight on the side of the rebellious Paraguayan Jesuits. The two reach the rebel guard and ask to speak to the colonel, but the colonel orders their weapons and their horses seized. A sergeant tells Candide and Cacambo that the colonel does not have time to see them and that the Father Provincial hates Spaniards. He gives them three hours to get out of the province. Cacambo informs the sergeant that Candide is German. The colonel agrees to see him.
Candide and Cacambo are led to the colonel’s lavish pavilion. Their weapons and horses are returned. It turns out that the colonel is Cunégonde’s brother, now the baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh. Candide and the baron embrace one another in tearful joy. Candide reports that Cunégonde also survived the attack and that she is with the governor. While they wait for the Father Provincial, the colonel tells his story.
When the Bulgars attacked the castle, the colonel was left unconscious and appeared dead. He was thrown into a cart full of corpses and taken to a Jesuit chapel for burial. A Jesuit sprinkling holy water on the bodies noticed the colonel’s eyes moving, and immediately made arrangements for the colonel’s care. After three weeks the colonel recovered completely. Being a “very pretty boy,” he earned the “tender friendship” of a highly regarded Jesuit and eventually became a Jesuit himself. He was sent to Paraguay, where he became a colonel as well as a priest.
The colonel hopes to bring Cunégonde to Paraguay. Candide says he wishes to do the same because he plans to marry her. This statement infuriates the colonel, as Candide is not of the nobility. Candide claims that he agrees with Pangloss’s statement that all men are equal, and reminds the colonel how much he has done for Cunégonde and how happily she agreed to marry him. The colonel slaps Candide with his sword, and Candide responds by running the colonel through with his own sword. Candide bursts into tears. Cacambo rushes into the room. He dresses Candide in the colonel’s habit, and they flee the pavilion.
Candide and Cacambo end up in a strange country with no roads. They see two naked women running in a meadow pursued by two monkeys biting at their legs. Candide hopes he can rescue the women and gain their assistance, and so he kills the monkeys. However, instead of being grateful the women fall to the ground and weep over the dead monkeys. Cacambo informs Candide that the monkeys were the women’s lovers. Candide and Cacambo hide in a thicket where they fall asleep.
They awaken to find themselves bound and surrounded by a tribe of fierce natives known as Biglugs. The Biglugs rejoice, excited that they are going to get revenge on the Jesuits by eating one. Cacambo tells them in their language that Candide is not a Jesuit. He explains that Candide killed a Jesuit and wore the Jesuit habit to escape. He urges the Biglugs to take the habit to the border and ask the guards to confirm the story. The Biglugs do so and discover that Cacambo is telling the truth. They show Candide and Cacambo the greatest hospitality and accompany them to the edge of their territory. Candide affirms his faith in the perfection of the world.
"Moreover, in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve enjoyed the fruits of nature without having to work..."
I don't think that's true. Genesis 2:15 says, "The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." Adam's purpose was to work even before the fall, which happens in Genesis 3. Also, I don't believe that Adam and Eve fell from God's grace. Yes, God said "you shall surely die" if you eat of the fruit, and they did, but it was actually God's grace that made them go out of the garden to prevent them from li... Read more→
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What I got from this book is that whether Panglos is right or not. Whether Pessimism or Optimism prevailed, it doesn't do any good to philosophy over it.
Man was placed in the garden to work, not to be idle.
I believe that in the end Candide gave up on arguing - he simply realised the pointlessness of doing it and that true happiness will be by living life without thinking about it the whole time.
Thanks for your post.
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Honestly I don't think this book has anything to do with religion, right or wrong. Any type of theorizing, philosophy, formal religion, or even societal emphasis on what is important is represented as something negative. For example, all church figures are corrupt, philosophers Pangloss and Martin no matter what their opinions are either ignorant or miserable. The happiest (and eventually model) character is the farmer, who thinks and works for himself. Voltaire was jaded by the corruption of religion and hopeless optimism of philosophy and ... Read more→
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