Search Menu


Chapters 17–19

page 3 of 3

Chapters 17–19

Chapters 17–19

Chapters 17–19

Chapters 17–19

Candide’s attempt to acquire a companion for his voyage reveals the futility of trying to compensate someone for misery and suffering. There are so many miserable people in the world that giving away a little bit of money does virtually nothing to reduce this overall misery. Voltaire implies that the basis for misery is the social structure itself, which needs to be changed before any real compensation can occur.

Candide’s new pessimism also owes something to his conversation with the slave whom he encounters on the road to Surinam. Voltaire illustrates social injustice and systematic cruelty many times in the novel. However, many of these situations, such as Candide’s conscription into the Bulgar army and the consumption of the old woman’s buttock, are exaggerated, absurd, or even comical. The slave’s life story, on the other hand, is quite realistic and has no element of humor to it. In dealing with slavery, Voltaire comes up against an evil so powerful that even his considerable satiric wit cannot make light of it.

Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 17–19 Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 17–19 Quiz



In Eldorado, what does the innkeeper do when Candide and Cacambo attempt to pay in gold for their meal?
Laughs at them
Has them arrested
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 17–19 Quiz

Chapters 17–19 QUIZ

Test Your Understanding with the Chapters 17–19 Quiz

More Help

Previous Next
Adam and Eve

by sary56, August 20, 2013

"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


43 out of 72 people found this helpful

Life life

by Jekemi, January 05, 2014

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.



3 out of 4 people found this helpful

This Book is About...

by AlexM4ck, April 30, 2014

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


40 out of 49 people found this helpful

See all 6 readers' notes   →