Candide Short Summary
“Candide” was published in 1759 by a philosopher named Voltaire. It is a novella and has been translated several times. The book is about a young man named Candide and his lifestyle adventures. The book has a very erratic plot, and it uses some historical moments like the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon and the Seven Years War to base the experiences.
The Story Briefly
It opens with Candide living in Germany in a castle. He is under the teaching of Pangloss, who teaches the philosophy of optimism. However, Candide is hesitant in accepting the concept. Pangloss starts an affair with a Chamberlain. The daughter of the baron, Cunegonde initiates one with Candide, and when they are caught, Candide is banished from the castle.
Candide is alone and comes across some soldiers who trick him into joining the service. He later escapes due to abuse from the superiors. He meets a diseased beggar, and it turns out to be Pangloss who tells him that the soldiers killed Castle Baron and his family. A kind Anabaptist helps cure Pangloss and joins them. Candide and his mentor head for Lisbon but on the way, the Anabaptist gets killed. Pangloss gets hung when they reach Lisbon, but Candide is lucky.
Cunegonde has survived, and Candide goes to her. She had helped Candide survive the hanging. Cunegonde was living with two powerful men, and Candide kills them to be with her. They flee using a boat headed to Paraguay. Candide impresses a Spanish general who makes him captain.
When they get to Buenos Aires, Don Fernando, the governor, falls for Cunegonde and proposes to her. Candide cannot do anything about it since he needs to run from authorities tracking him. He receives help from Cacambo, a valet, and flees.
Candide meets some Jesuits and their leader, who is Cunegonde’s brother. The brother finds out that Candide loves his sister and is angry, which leads to a fight. Candide kills the brother and flees again, accompanied by Cacambo.
Candide splits up with Cacambo, and he heads to Venice to run from police. He meets a scholar named Martin who joins him. Cundegonde was in Constantinople, and she had become a servant. Candide seeks her out and finds her, and they get married. They buy a farm where they live with Cacambo, Pangloss, Martin and an old woman. They live simple lives.