Character Role Analysis
Candide’s adventures, aspirations, and troubles are the central focus of the novel (as the title so cleverly suggests). Although Candide is the unquestionable protagonist, it is interesting to note that he does not have many of the characteristics typical of a protagonist, such as distinct independent thinking, and decision-making. Whereas the typical protagonist tends to be the driving force of his or her own life experience, Candide is not. He takes direction from Pangloss, the Old Woman, Cacambo, and the farmer. Even when his life experiences are utterly incompatible with what he has been taught, he is unable to develop opinions to the contrary. Candide goes so far as to deny his instinct to save the drowning Anabaptist in order to follow Pangloss’ lead.