© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

El Dorado

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The Happiest Place On Earth

The land of El Dorado is an embodiment of Voltaire’s vision of an ideal society. El Dorado is a place of relative equality and advanced science. It is free of greed, pretension, religious contention, and suffering:

Cacambo humbly asked, "What was the religion in El Dorado?"

The old man reddened again.

"Can there be two religions?" said he. "We have, I believe, the religion of all the world: we worship God night and morning."

"Do you worship but one God?" said Cacambo, who still acted as interpreter in representing Candide's doubts.

"Surely," said the old man, "there are not two, nor three, nor four. I must confess the people from your side of the world ask very extraordinary questions." (18.11-15)

El Dorado is significant in its ability to highlight the unfortunate realities of the world beyond its borders. Nevertheless, the land is too good to be true, and so it's unreal to Candide and Cacambo. This might be the real reason why they don't stick around.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...