Candide Chapter 1 Summary
- Candide lives in the country home of the influential Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in Westphalia. We’d like to take this opportunity to give major props to Voltaire for creative names.
- Candide is the illegitimate son of the Baron’s sister.
- Candide’s mother refused to marry his father because his lineage could not be traced back sufficiently far.
- The daughter of the Baron and Baroness is a beauty named Cunégonde, who, by our calculations, is Candide’s cousin. Apparently, people didn’t really care about that stuff back then.
- Candide is tutored by Pangloss, a scholar of metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology. Pangloss teaches that in the best of all possible worlds, everything is ultimately for the best, and that every effect has a cause.
- One evening, Cunégonde and Candide meet behind a screen when leaving the dinner table. Cunégonde drops her napkin and Candide picks it up for her.
- They share a kiss before Cunégonde’s father catches them and flips out. He banishes Candide.