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Analysis

Literary Devices in Candide

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Gardens appear in several important passages in Candide. First, Candide’s uncle banishes him from the family’s country home and garden after he finds Candide kissing Cunégonde. Thi...

Setting

Candide is set in both real and fictional locations throughout Europe and Latin America in the 1750s. The action takes place over the greater part of Candide’s lifetime. The world in which Ca...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator in Candide is for the most part objective, but occasionally probes Candide’s consciousness.

Genre

Voltaire uses satire to parody philosophy, and he does so in a way that makes us roll around on the floor in laughter, gasping for air.

Tone

Candide is known for being absolutely hilarious. Part of what makes it so funny is the deadpan, understated nature of Voltaire’s prose. Like any good comedian, Voltaire makes his jokes and mo...

Writing Style

The simplistic style of Candide highlights the absurdity and drama of the novel’s plot and characters. This isn’t about fancy prose. Voltaire even uses one character, the Scholar, to ma...

What’s Up With the Title?

Candide is the name of the novel’s protagonist. The alternative title, Optimism, is the primary subject and critique of the book. Leave it to Voltaire – the title is yet another tongue-...

Plot Analysis

NOTE: Voltaire not only satirizes philosophy, religion, and natural disasters, but he also pokes fun at the very form of the novel itself. You might have noticed this given the absurd chapter title...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Banishment.Candide is a naïve young man living in the country home of the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. He innocently kisses his love interest, the Baron’s daughter Cunégonde, and he i...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Candide grows up in the country home of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh in Westphalia. He is educated by Dr. Pangloss, and he falls for the Baron’s daughter, Cunégonde. Candide is then banishe...

Trivia

François-Marie Arouet published Candide under the pseudonym "Voltaire," anticipating that it would be very controversial book. Turns out, he was very right. Within a month of its release, the...

Steaminess Rating

Sex, not surprisingly, is subject to Voltaire’s assault in Candide. For the most part, Voltaire mentions sex only in the context of sexual exploitation and violence. Voltaire also throws in a...

Allusions

Gabriel Gauchat (22.40, 22.42) Homer (25.9) Virgil: The Aeneid (25.12) Horace (25.14) Cicero (25.17) John Milton (25.26)
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