When he is sent away in disgrace after kissing his cousin, the lady Cunégonde, Candide finds himself first pressed into military service with the Prussians, and then beset by natural disasters in Portugal before being reunited first with his tutor, Pangloss, and then finally with his beloved Cunégonde. As the trio embark on a new life in South America, they find their faith once again challenged by the events that befall them.
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In the course of his travels and adventures in Europe and South America, Candide saw and suffered such misfortune that it was difficult for him to believe this was "the best of all possible worlds" as Dr. Pangloss had assured him. Indeed, it seemed to be quite the opposite. In brilliantly skewering such naïveté, Voltaire mercilessly exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government — the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men.
After many trials and travails, Candide is reunited with Cunegonde, his sweetheart. He then buys a little farm in Turkey where he and Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss and others all retire. In the end, Candide decides that the best thing in the world is to cultivate one's own garden. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
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It was the indifferent shrug and callous inertia that this "optimism" concealed which so angered Voltaire, who found the "all for the best" approach a patently inadequate response to suffering, to natural disasters, not to mention the questions of illness and man-made war. Moreover, as the rebel whose satiric genius had earned him not only international acclaim, but two stays in the Bastille, flogging, and exile, Voltaire knew personally what suffering entailed. In Candide he whisks his young hero and friends through a ludicrous variety of tortures, tragedies, and a reversal of fortune, in the company of Pangloss, a "metaphysico-theologo-comolo-nigologist" of unflinching optimism. The result is one of the glories of eighteenth-century satire.
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Candide’s misfortunes begin when his uncle, a German baron, banishes him for kissing the baron’s daughter, Cunégonde. Forced to make his own way in the world, Candide goes from conscription in the Bulgar army, to Lisbon, after a harrowing voyage by sea, to the tutelage of the Enlightenment philosopher Pangloss. After an unexpected reunion with his beloved Cunégonde, Candide finds that further misadventure awaits, first through South America and then back in Europe, where he settles in the countryside.
Among the most widely renowned texts of western literature, Candide lives on two hundred fifty years since its first publication as a supreme example of political, philosophical, and religious satire whose wit and power of observation have influenced writers for generations.
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Candide is an optimist. A dreamer. He believes that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. But that belief is about to be tested as Candide's comfortable life is overtaken by an endless barrage of misfortune.
First published in 1759, the story traces the journey of a young man who leads a sheltered life, believing that mankind lives in the best of all possible worlds and that everything happens for the best. But Candide's happiness comes to a sharp end when he is unfairly evicted from his uncle's castle for kissing his cousin and true love, Lady Cunégonde. Cast out into the big wide world, Candide is forced to confront reality.
As his world collapses around him, we are transported across the centuries to new locations and parallel universes. How will Candide's optimism fare when it collides with life in the twenty-first century?