Candide Brief Summary
Danny lived with his mother Rosaline in the Upper East Side of Manhattan at the Reynolds residence. Rosaline worked as a house cleaner for the Reynolds family, which was a wealthy, influential family with strong political ties. During this time, she had an affair with Mr. Reynolds, which resulted in Danny’s birth. The entire family was appalled by Rosaline’s revelation; however, in spite of their feelings, they decided to retain Rosaline’s services and hide the truth from Danny. The Reynolds had no offspring of their own and were, therefore, worried about losing the family’s legacy. As a result, they sent Danny to prestigious schools and exposed him to their lifestyle. Danny, unaware of the reasons behind the Reynolds’ actions, simply assumed that they were generous employers who deeply cared for their employees. However, Danny could not shake off the feeling that Mrs. Reynolds disliked him. It was not until Mrs. Reynolds became pregnant that he was able to confirm her hatred towards him. Mrs. Reynolds was on a mission to destroy Danny and his mother, as she felt his existence threatened her daughter’s inheritance. Her first move entailed terminating Rosaline’s services and chasing them off the family’s residence. Mr. Reynolds watched in despair afraid to intervene, as the bulk of the family’s fortune came from his wife’s side of the family. Without a penny to her name, Rosaline and her sixteen-year-old son moved to a low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn.
The change in lifestyle adversely affected Danny. The public school system was nothing like the prep schools he once attended. The majority of the students were in cliques formed along racial lines. Danny struggled to fit in, as he was of Caucasian descent, and very few Caucasians studied in the public school he attended. As a result, he sought validation from his peers by adopting truant behaviors. Soon enough, he joined a gang, a decision that marked the beginning of all his problems. At the age of twenty, the police arrested him during a police raid. The judge sentenced him to serve an eight-year prison term, which was eligible for review after four years. Danny’s despair worsened, as he thought that he was a victim of unfortunate circumstances. While in prison, he refrained from engaging in any altercations, as he did not want to threaten his chance of getting released early on account of his good conduct.
It was during his third year of incarceration when his mother let him know that a special visitor wanted to pay him a visit. To his surprise, Mr. Reynolds was the visitor. Mr. Reynolds had come to disclose the truth about his heritage and to inform him that he had managed to call in some favors with a few friends who agreed to reverse his prison sentence. In addition, Mr. Reynolds also informed him that his wife had died, which prompted him to amend his will to include Danny as heir to fifty percent of the family fortune. One week later, Danny and his mother moved back to the affluent Upper East neighborhood where they lived in close proximity to his father and half-sister.