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by Voltaire


Character Role Analysis


Candide’s adventures, aspirations, and troubles are the focus of the novel (as the title so obviously lays out). Although Candide is the unquestionable protagonist, it is interesting to note that he doesn't have many of the characteristics typical of a protagonist, like distinct independent thinking and decision-making skills.

The  typical protagonist tends to be the driving force of his or her own life experience, but Candide totally isn't. He takes direction from Pangloss, the Old Woman, Cacambo, and the farmer. Even when his life experiences are completely incompatible with what he has been taught, he's unable to develop his own opinions. Candide goes so far as to not save the drowning Anabaptist in order to follow Pangloss’s lead.