Candide Philosophical Viewpoints Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph). We used the translation found on Project Gutenberg.
"Do you believe," said Candide, "that men have always massacred each other as they do to-day, that they have always been liars, cheats, traitors, ingrates, brigands, idiots, thieves, scoundrels, gluttons, drunkards, misers, envious, ambitious, bloody-minded, calumniators, debauchees, fanatics, hypocrites, and fools?
"Do you believe," said Martin, "that hawks have always eaten pigeons when they have found them?"
"Yes, without doubt," said Candide.
"Well, then," said Martin, "if hawks have always had the same character why should you imagine that men may have changed theirs?"
"Oh!" said Candide, "there is a vast deal of difference, for free will----" (21.14)
The philosophical ponderings of Candide and Martin have no bearing on their relative suffering.
"But," said Candide to Paquette, "you looked so gay and content when I met you; you sang and you behaved so lovingly to the Theatin, that you seemed to me as happy as you pretend to be now the reverse."
"Ah! sir," answered Paquette, "this is one of the miseries of the trade. Yesterday I was robbed and beaten by an officer; yet to-day I must put on good humor to please a friar."
Candide wanted no more convincing; he owned that Martin was in the right. They sat down to table with Paquette and the Theatin; the repast was entertaining; and towards the end they conversed with all confidence. (24.17-19)
Candide and Martin use their acquaintances for philosophical experiments.
Pangloss sometimes said to Candide:
"There is a concatenation of events in this best of all possible worlds: for if you had not been kicked out of a magnificent castle for love of Miss Cunégonde: if you had not been put into the Inquisition: if you had not walked over America: if you had not stabbéd the Baron: if you had not lost all your sheep from the fine country of El Dorado: you would not be here eating preserved citrons and pistachio-nuts."
"All that is very well," answered Candide, "but let us cultivate our garden." (30.29-31)
Finally, in the last chapter of the novel, Candide seems to renounce philosophy in favor of activity and work.