Candide (protagonist)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Candide is the title character of Voltaire’s satire, Candide. His adventure story forms the core of the satire’s plot.

Life Story

Candide is born into a castle in Westphalia, Germany. He receives education from Dr. Pangloss, and innocently accepts Pangloss’ absolute optimism. A good-natured and naïve youth, Candide falls in love with his cousin Cunégonde but gets expelled from the castle as a result. He is forced to travel around the world, and is greatly horrified by the evils of the world (such as torture, bloody and cruel war, massive earthquake, rape, Inquisition injustice, corruption, slavery, etc) he sees throughout his adventures, because his innocent nature and optimism are too fragile to prepare him for harsh reality. Candide questions the philosophy of optimism during his adventures and finally, at the end of his travels, after seeing enough horrors, he rejects Pangloss’ optimism and adopts a philosophy of carrying out actual, practical actions as a path to achieve happiness. Candide's life ends with him living with Cunegonde and others including Pangloss, on a farm. Although Cunegonde is now ugly Candide and all the other characters have reached "the best of possible situations".

Character Analysis

Candide is mostly memorable for four things: his innocence, his initial optimism, his confusion and plight during his travels, and his final rejection of optimism. As innocent as he is, Candide is a thinker who likes to engage in philosophical dialogues with his fellow philosophers and his dialogues demonstrates his philosophical capacity. It is only at the end of the novel he becomes more practical but his nature is still essentially simple.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Candide (protagonist)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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