Candide Conclusion Summary & Analysis from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
advice. Candide, after deep thought, puts their ideas into practice by .. relationship of the scenes in Chapter 28 with Candide's and Cunegonde's embrace. “Come, master, let us follow the old woman's advice; let us start, and run “Oh! my dear Cunegonde! must I leave you just at a time when the Governor was. The clothing worn by Candide and Pangloss are the symbolically painted cape . Is her advice to Cunegonde purely cynical or does she have Cunegonde's best .. Candide's new proposal of marriage recalls the first time he asked the.
This is evident from the exposition of the story.
Gender in Voltaire’s “Candide”
Candide, throughout the entirety of the novel, exhibits countless qualities commonly attributed to femininity. Ascription of heavily gendered character traits to the wrong gender is a motif in the novel.
For example, Cunegonde is much more verbal about her physical attraction to the opposite sex than Candide, even though one would expect the opposite. This is evidenced by her commentary on the large build and beautiful complexion of her Jewish lover in Portugal, as well as her thoughts on Candide. By contrasting the traits of characters with opposite genders, it becomes clear that the relationship between men and women has been turned on its head.
Shortly thereafter, she seduces Candide— notably not the other way around, as traditional gender norms would uphold— by dropping her handkerchief coyly. This motif does not strictly apply to Candide and Cunegonde, as well.
Arguably, the old woman is the character who has suffered the most in her lifetime, yet she still has a flaming passion for life. This understanding of life is the same one shared by influential Enlightenment philosophers including David Hume and Voltaire himself.
Voltaire takes his critique of gender a level deeper by not only examining individual character traits with relation to gender, but also by using women as the sole catalysts for positive change within the novel. He turns traditional power relations between genders on their heads, by having women play more dominant roles than men in both their personal relationships and the central narrative of the novel. Nowhere is this more evident than in the relationship between Candide and Cunegonde.
The relationship is initiated by Cunegonde as she drops her handkerchief, coquettishly hoping for Candide to pick it up. When caught kissing Cunegonde by the baron, Candide is exclusively blamed as the perpetrator regardless of the reality of the situation. After her one brief fling with Candide, Cunegonde is shipped off to Spain, setting her lover off on an endless journey to recapture his now fetishized love.
His struggle to marry Cunegonde is framed recurrently as an attempt to find his lost self, or his other half: While the relationship begins based off of pure physical attraction, it ends with Candide upholding his ethical imperative to marry Cunegonde regardless of her now-revolting appearance.
It is her ugliness that sets her free—no longer is she constantly objectified by men. This also makes a scathing argument against the trend in society for women to base their self-image off of the opinions of others, especially men. Pangloss is hanged and Candide is beaten badly.
World Literature: The Curious Case of Candide and Cunegonde
The ridiculous actions taken place prove to be futile when another earthquake erupts the next day. All of the bad that came from the first earthquake provided no good. Pangloss had been hung for no reason and Jacques, a good man, had died from the storm out at sea. The reader is left wondering how these horrible events could result in a greater good. Candide finds that God might have spared one place on earth, El Dorado. He finds this seemingly perfect city, yet does not want to stay because is still in love with Cunegonde.
The king gives him and Cacambo a few sheep and some gold.
Gender in Voltaire’s “Candide” – my blog :-)
This portion of the story brings a little light, yet the whole world cannot be like El Dorado, and people who do live in perfect worlds cannot even appreciate it because they have nothing to compare the high points against.
Since life is always perfect, they live in lethargic boredom and cannot truly appreciate how well off they truly are. Such periods include when we find Pangloss survived, and the points in the book when Candide and Cunegonde get to be together, even for short amounts of time.
Although we find events that support optimism, we find more counterexamples. Although Pangloss and the Barons son are found alive, they tell Candide their escapes from death, and the tortures they had been put through afterwards. When they do find her, she is extremely ugly and Candide no longer wants to marry her. Although he is no longer attracted to her, he is a man of his word and feels he must do his duty to take care of her and love her. Now, he is stuck with a woman he no longer lusts over.
Candide has finally found what he had been sacrificing for all of his life to find, yet is not satisfied with what he has acquired for his hard work. The bad events that occur in Candide, help show that the world is not perfect, and that not everything happens for the greater good in the end.