Study Guide

Candide Chapter 4

By Voltaire

Chapter 4

  • Candide soon recognizes the beggar as Pangloss.
  • Candide brings the weak and feeble Pangloss to the Anabaptist’s house.
  • Once revived, Pangloss informs Candide that Bulgar soldiers ravished the Baron’s mansion, killed the entire family, and raped and murdered Cunégonde.
  • As they deliver and receive the news, respectively, both Pangloss and Candide periodically faint.
  • Candide questions Pangloss about what could possibly have caused such a terrible effect. (He’s still in the cause and effect camp.)
  • Pangloss explains that he contracted syphilis from one of the servants in the Baron’s mansion. He traces his syphilis back to Columbus’s discovery of the new world and insists that without it, Europe could never have benefited from the resources of the new world, such as chocolate.
  • The Anabaptist, moved by Pangloss’s story, decides to pay to have him treated.
  • After the medical treatment, Pangloss is all better.
  • The Anabaptist hires Pangloss as his accountant.
  • Two months later, James the Anabaptist, Pangloss, and Candide travel by boat to Lisbon on business. In the midst of a speech by Pangloss on the indispensable nature of suffering in the best of all worlds, the ship is caught in a terrible storm.