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_____ 1. Candide joined the Bulgar army because he

    A. had no money
    B. was tricked into it
    C. was a supporter of the Bulgar king
_____ 2. The Anabaptist Jacques is a
    I. Protestant preacher
    II. Dutch merchant
    III. charitable man
    A. I and III
    B. II and III
    C. I only
_____ 3. When Pangloss refers to the best of all possible worlds, he is talking about the world as
    A. it is
    B. it should be
    C. it used to be
_____ 4. Candide goes to South America to
    A. search for Eldorado
    B. learn about the world
    C. escape from the police
_____ 5. Candide stabbed the young baron because the baron
    A. surprised Candide, who was kissing Cunegonde
    B. attacked Candide with his sword
    C. refused to allow Candide to marry Cunegonde
_____ 6. Cacambo and Candide left Eldorado because they wanted
    I. to find Cunegonde
    II. to travel to Surinam
    III. to show off their wealth
    A. I and II only
    B. I and III only
    C. I, II, and III
_____ 7. Candide picks Martin as his traveling companion because Martin
    A. is the most miserable man in Surinam
    B. reminds Candide of Pangloss
    C. promises to be most interesting
_____ 8. Optimism and pessimism are represented, respectively, by
    A. Pangloss and Cacambo
    B. Pangloss and Martin
    C. Pangloss and the dervish
_____ 9. The main idea behind Candide's dinner with the six kings is that
    A. man's fate is unpredictable
    B. riches don't bring happiness
    C. Voltaire was against monarchy
_____ 10. Candide's decision to work the farm is the result of the
    A. old woman's advice
    B. discussions between Pangloss and Martin
    C. meeting with the old man

11. Discuss the importance of the old woman's story in Chapters 11 and 12.

12. Give three examples of religious satire in Candide. Relate each to Voltaire's general view of religion.

13. Explain how Martin influences Candide's development.

14. Discuss the ideal world of Eldorado and its importance for Candide.

15. Discuss the meaning of "philosophical optimism." What is its importance in Candide?


_____ 1. The Bulgars and the Abares are, respectively, allegorical representatives of the

    A. English and the French
    B. Prussians and the French
    C. Prussians and the English
_____ 2. The auto-da-fe scene is primarily a satire of
    A. the Portuguese legal system
    B. capital punishment
    C. intolerance and fanaticism
_____ 3. An important aspect of the Enlightenment was the belief in
    A. reason and progress
    B. the power of faith and reason
    C. science and religion
_____ 4. Candide and Cacambo are saved from the Biglugs because
    A. Candide is wearing a Jesuit robe
    B. they have killed a Jesuit
    C. they rescued the girls from the monkeys
_____ 5. After Eldorado, Candide's story is primarily the search for
    A. his beloved, Cunegonde
    B. the best of all possible worlds
    C. land to buy
_____ 6. The Jesuit's leafy nook is a symbol for the
    A. beauty of nature
    B. ideals of religion
    C. wealth of the Jesuits
_____ 7. When Candide and Martin are waiting in Venice, Martin thinks that
    A. Cacambo has run off with the money
    B. Cacambo and Cunegonde are dead
    C. Cacambo and Cunegonde are in trouble
_____ 8. A belief of philosophical optimism is that evil
    A. cannot be explained
    B. dominates human existence
    C. is part of a greater good
_____ 9. The best description of Lord Pococurante would be that he
    A. "is superior to everything he possesses"
    B. "has never known a moment's grief"
    C. "is disgusted with everything he possesses"
_____ 10. Candide's reluctance to give up his optimism shows that
    I. he has a natural tendency to be hopeful
    II. optimism is a seductive, comforting philosophy
    III. there is some validity in philosophical optimism
    A. I and II only
    B. II and III only
    C. I, II, and III

11. Compare the two Dutch merchants of the story, the Anabaptist Jacques and Vanderdendur.

12. Discuss the development of Candide's character. Illustrate different stages of his development with specific incidents.

13. What is Voltaire's view of women? Support your answer with specific references to the novel.

14. How do you interpret the meaning of Candide's "garden?"

15. Discuss the Lisbon earthquake and its importance to Voltaire's view of evil and providence.


  1. B
  2. B
  3. A
  4. C
  5. C
  6. B
  7. C
  8. B
  9. A
  10. C

11. You can discuss the importance of the old woman's story in various ways. One way is to emphasize her story as an indication of Voltaire's view of women. Here, you should mention how the old woman is treated by men, how much control they have over her life. You should also indicate parallels between her life and that of other women in the story: Paquette, Cunegonde, even the actress in Chapter 22.

An alternative approach would be to discuss her story in terms of fate and its influence on her life. How much control does she have over her own destiny? How is her story typical of other characters' stories? What importance does her story have to the theme of evil? Using either approach, you can also discuss the story in terms of the universality of human misery.

12. You might begin with an overview of Voltaire's religious targets. You will need to discuss what Voltaire opposed in religion, especially fanaticism, intolerance and hypocrisy, but also clerical corruption. You can then show, through your examples, how Voltaire satirized religion. The auto-da-fe (fanaticism and intolerance), the Jesuits in Paraguay (religious intervention in political affairs and other "worldly" aspects of religion), and the Dutch orator (hypocrisy) would be a possible threesome. There are many other examples. An incident from the non-Christian world, such as the civil war in Morocco, can be chosen as an illustration that Voltaire's quarrel was not with Christianity alone.

13. Begin your answer with your view of Candide's character when he first meets Martin in Chapter 19. How much influence you attribute to Martin depends on how you see Candide at this time. Is he still attached to Pangloss's philosophy, despite his depression of the moment? Or is he already well on his way toward rejecting optimism? In the second case, Martin's role would be somewhat less crucial, serving more to accelerate Candide's development than actually to form it.

When you treat Martin's influence, you might show how he pushes Candide to face the reality of evil. He acts as a sort of devil's advocate, logically chipping away at Candide's Panglossian justifications. You can also show how he helps Candide form his own judgment by frequently refusing to provide Candide with answers. Conclude your essay with an evaluation of how much Candide's final choice is influenced by Martin's pessimism. This will reflect, to a certain degree, whether you think Candide's "garden" is a retreat from an evil world.

14. Eldorado is a utopia, an imaginary but ideal world. You might begin your essay by describing the institutions and values of this world. Then contrast this ideal with the actual world as described elsewhere in Candide. For example, compare the peaceful religion of Eldorado with Voltaire's general portrait of religion. In preparing this essay, you should reread Chapters 17 and 18 and the discussion of these chapters.

After Eldorado, Candide is always glancing over his shoulder, measuring the rest of the world against the standard of Eldorado. You can argue either that Eldorado is the turning point in Candide's development or that it is one of many important steps in the evolution of Candide's character. In either case, you will need to support your viewpoint with examples from the text. If you believe that Candide is greatly changed, then illustrate his change. For example, point to his strong denunciation of optimism in Surinam. If you believe that Eldorado is a less decisive step, you can offer as evidence Candide's vacillation in his attitude toward optimism both before and after Eldorado. You can conclude your essay with a discussion of why Candide left Eldorado and what his departure reveals about him and about human nature. Perhaps his decision to leave is a rejection of utopia as impossible because it runs against human nature. -

15. Begin by discussing the basic idea of philosophical optimism- the idea that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. Consider that this idea implies a fatalistic acceptance of the world as it is. For help in this part, consult the Note on philosophical optimism in the discussion of Chapter 1, as well as "The Author and His Times."

In your discussion of the role of optimism in Candide, you should include examples of the way Voltaire satirizes it in the views of Pangloss. Show how Voltaire contrasts harsh reality with the ideals of philosophy- for example, in the Lisbon earthquake and the battle in Chapter 3. You might conclude that Candide's main purpose is to discredit optimism as a viable philosophy of life.


  1. B
  2. C
  3. A
  4. B
  5. A
  6. C
  7. A
  8. C
  9. C
  10. A

11. Begin by describing the two merchants- how they act and what their role in the story is. (The Anabaptist Jacques appears in Chapters 3-5, Vanderdendur in Chapters 19-20.) Then go on to show how the merchants differ. You might compare the similarity of their fate- both are drowned and their ships sink- with the great difference in their characters. Their fate also illustrates Voltaire's view that evil strikes both the good and the bad indiscriminately, that disasters are not divine punishment for sins.

12. Any discussion of Candide's character would do well to begin with the good, simple-hearted fellow described in Chapter 1. You can then either go immediately to a description of Candide at the end or discuss changes in his character as they occur. Be sure to describe his most outstanding characteristics whichever plan you choose. In addition, offer at least two or three examples of Candide at every stage of his development. Episodes to consider for inclusion are: the auto-da-fe, Eldorado, and Venice.

As a guide in developing your ideas, compare Candide as he reacts in similar situations- for example, on the two occasions when he asks the baron for Cunegonde's hand. Don't forget to include any aspects of Candide's character that you think remain unchanged.

13. Voltaire includes relatively few female characters in Candide, but they are given very important roles in the novel. Cunegonde and the old woman, even Paquette, tell their stories in great detail. In preparing this essay, consult the "Characters" sections on Cunegonde and the old woman, as well as the discussions of Chapters 8, 11, 12 and 24.

You can either first present your opinion of Voltaire's view of women and then illustrate your viewpoint with episodes from the women's stories, or you can analyze the most important women characters separately and conclude with Voltaire's overall viewpoint. If you think Voltaire sees women as victims, you can cite their exploitation by men to support your argument. As further evidence of their status as victims, you can also show how they are passed on and finally discarded. If you think they are resourceful survivors, you have ample evidence. Show how the women adapt to various circumstances and generally manage to make the best of a situation.

14. The various interpretations of Candide's garden are outlined for you in the discussion of Chapter 30. There is no "wrong" answer to this question if you can back up your opinion with evidence from the text. If you think the garden is a pessimistic retreat, you can show evidence of Candide's increasing pessimism. You might stress Martin's influence on Candide and the dervish's injunction to shut up, with its implication that one must learn to accept evil as a fact of life. If you see the garden more as a positive commitment to work, you have as evidence the contentment that the old man derives from his life. The image of Candide at the end, as he eats candied citron and pistachios, recalls the old man, who had served the same delicacies, and establishes a parallel between them. Whichever interpretation you choose, you must support your viewpoint with concrete examples.

15. The Lisbon earthquake was important both as an impetus to Voltaire to write Candide and as a central episode in the story itself. For Voltaire, the Lisbon earthquake was proof that the optimists' view of life, and especially their justification of evil, was wrong. The effect of the Lisbon earthquake on Voltaire is outlined in "The Author and His Times." In part, Candide is a reaction to this event.

Within the book, the incidents surrounding the Lisbon earthquake illustrate Voltaire's view that evil is both inexplicable philosophically and, in the case of natural disasters, unavoidable. As you describe these events, show how Voltaire undermines the justification of evil as divine punishment. For additional information, see the discussion of Chapter 5.

[Candide Contents]


    1. Many characters act as advisers to Candide. Show how each of his advisers contribute to his development.
    2. Trace the rise and fall of Candide's fortunes in relation to his attitude toward optimism.
    3. Compare the characters of Martin and Pangloss. How does each of them reflect a philosophy of life?
    4. Discuss the role of Cunegonde in the story. Explore the idea that she may be even more than the object of Candide's affections.
    5. Discuss Voltaire's portrait of religious figures in Candide.
    1. What is Voltaire's attitude toward war as shown in Candide?
    2. To what extent is Candide a pawn of fate? What effect do his own decisions have on his fate?
    3. Discuss the philosophy of optimism as personified by Pangloss.
    4. Evil takes many forms in Candide. Discuss three of them.
    5. Compare the religion of Eldorado with religion in the rest of the novel.
    1. Discuss Voltaire's view of his own country, as shown in Candide's visit to France.
    2. What significance do the events in Surinam have on Candide's development?
    3. Analyze several shipboard scenes. Discuss their importance to Candide and what elements they have in common.
    1. Discuss Voltaire's use of mysterious or unexplained encounters in the novel.
    2. Discuss Candide as a parody of an adventure story.
    3. What is the importance of travel in Candide?
    4. Discuss Voltaire's satirical techniques in Candide.
    1. Compare the character of Zadig, in Voltaire's story of the same name, with Candide.
    2. Compare the Leonard Bernstein musical Candide (1956) with Voltaire's original story.
    3. Compare Voltaire's attitude toward optimism in his "Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon" and in Candide.
    4. Compare the historical record of the Jesuits in South America with Voltaire's portrait of them in Paraguay.
    5. Compare Candide with Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759) by Samuel Johnson.

[Candide Contents]


Horses from Andalusia, a province in southern Spain.

Minor Muslim magistrate or judge.

Port city in southwestern Spain.

Period of feasting before Lent (Mardi Gras).

Seaport in French Guiana, near Surinam.

Governor of Algiers.

Card game in which the players bet on which card the dealer will turn up. The players are called punters.

City district, or suburb.

Sailing ship powered by oars. Criminals were often sentenced to row in the galleys.

Muslim religious leader or holy man.

Members of a highly developed Peruvian Indian culture, conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century.

(also Janissarier) Turkish soldiers, especially the members of the sultan's guard.

Military religious order, founded in the 12th century, noted as both soldiers and builders of hospitals.

Unit of measurement for distance. Varies from country to country, approximately 2 1/2-4 1/2 miles.

From the Levant, the countries of the eastern Mediterranean.

Spanish for "the fathers"- that is, the Jesuits.

Interpreter of Muslim religious law.

Belief that as the result of Adam's sin all people are tainted with sin.

From the French "paroli," to double one's bet at cards.

Unit of currency in Turkey and other areas of the Middle East. Also refers to Spanish coins.

Sea of Marmara, in Turkey.

See Faro.

Divisions of a coat of arms or shield indicating noble ancestry.

Ring toss game, like horseshoes.

Harem or a sultan's palace.

Principle of Leibniz's philosophy that justifies the existence of things in the form in which they are. The ultimate sufficient reason, for Leibniz, is God.

Member of a Catholic religious order, founded in Italy in 1524.

Area of Romania, at one time an independent state.

City and province in northern Argentina.

High government official in Muslim countries.

THE STORY, continued

ECC [Candide Contents] [The Study Home Page]

© Copyright 1985 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc.
Further distribution without the written consent of, Inc. is prohibited.

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