Study Guide

The Baron in Candide

By Voltaire

The Baron

A Bear of a Baron

Voltaire satirizes Cunégonde’s brother, the Baron, for his stupidly uncompromising adherence to traditional ideas about lineage and status. Despite his appreciation of Candide and feelings of brotherhood toward him, the Baron is unwilling to permit Candide to marry his sister because of her higher social status.

Candide is unable to change the Baron’s mind, even after buying his freedom from a galley chain gang. At this point, the Baron continues to focuses his disapproval on Candide’s lineage rather than the fact that Candide stabbed and nearly killed him about twenty pages before. Even when Cunégonde has become middle-aged, unattractive, and unlikely to marry otherwise, the Baron would rather see her alone than married below her social caste.

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