Study Guide

Candide Chapter 24

By Voltaire

Chapter 24

  • Candide and Martin arrive in Venice.
  • For several months, Candide searches for word of Cacambo and Cunégonde, but is unable to find them. He assumes the worst (that Cunégonde has died) and becomes depressed. He wishes he had stayed in El Dorado.
  • Martin, ever the pessimist, suggests that Candide has too much faith in Cacambo. Most likely, he says, Cacambo took the fortune and is enjoying himself, not searching the world for the beautiful Cunégonde.
  • Candide and Martin observe a happy looking couple, a woman and a monk, walking down the street. Martin bets Candide that they are in fact very unhappy. In order to settle the bet, Martin asks the couple to dinner.
  • They accept, and the woman turns out to be Paquette, the servant from Thunder-ten-tronckh who infected Pangloss with syphilis. We are not remotely kidding.
  • Candide finds that Paquette has indeed been very unhappy. After a series of unfortunate events, she was forced to become a prostitute to support herself. The monk is not Paquette’s lover, but merely her client.
  • Candide asks the monk if he is happy, and contrary to his expectation, the monk says he is miserable.
  • Candide and Martin make an appointment to see Count Pococurante, who is supposedly a very happy man.