Study Guide

Candide Chapter 3

By Voltaire

Chapter 3

  • The King of the Bulgars goes to battle with the King of Abars.
  • The battle kills several thousand men on each side. Throughout the battle, Candide tries desperately to hide. As soon as it’s safe to come out, he deserts.
  • Candide wanders through scenes of horrible carnage, which Voltaire so kindly informs us include "arms," "legs," and, of course, "brains."
  • Candide decides it is necessary now to devote some time to ruminating on cause and effect.
  • He wanders philosophically into another town and requests charity from a Protestant minister. The man asks Candide to express his religious allegiance, but Candide is only able to respond with Pangloss’s signature philosophical statements about cause and effect.
  • The minister’s wife, in a fit of rage, dumps a bucket of human waste on Candide’s head.
  • An Anabaptist named James sees the incident and offers Candide a change of clothes, a meal, and an an apprenticeship in his rug-making business.
  • Candide’s faith in the world is restored.
  • The following day, Candide sees a beggar with terrible sores, which momentarily threatens his newly restored faith.