Candide Summary

Candide begins in the German town of Westphalia, where Candide, a young man, lives in the castle of Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh. A noted philosopher, Doctor Pangloss, tutors the baron on philosophical optimism, the idea that "all is for the best . . . in this best of all worlds." Candide, a simple man, first accepts this philosophy, but as he experiences the horrors of war, poverty, the maliciousness of man, and the hypocrisy of the church, he begins to doubt the voracity of Pangloss's theory. Thus, philosophical optimism is the focus of Votaire's satire; anti-war and anti-church refrains also run throughout the novel.

Book Reviews

15's pops

Good read.5 star

I’m always amazed to read books or articles written so long ago and find their relevance in today’s world. I found this work a pleasant departure to my usual diet of deep reads, but wasn’t sure I could force myself to finish it seeing I wanted very much to get on to reading “ Notes from the underground” by Dystosky sp? I’m glad I pressed on. Enjoy55

Paul in Palo Alto

Candide, author Voltaire5 star

This book, written purposely as a melodrama, actually captures the truth of the human condition. It deals with actual human nature, including the empirical fact that your fellow humans are willing to slice you up for their own benefit. And it explains, succinctly and at the very end, of how you deal with ‘the nature of the beast’ and do so constructively and in an acceptable way that will satisfy your needs.55


“Candide” by Voltaire5 star

Anyone who calls this book a “rags to riches” story has completely missed the point, this book is in fact a satire of optimistic fatalist philosophy. Essentially the concept of “all the world is as it should be” is being ingeniously mocked by one of the most intelligent philosophers our world has ever seen, being metaphorically slapped across the face at every turn is not “rags to riches”,.55


Candide by Voltaire5 star

Extremely inspiring read especially when one thinks of today's society being very similar regarding a rag to riches story imploring the reader to understand how true life is when those thought to enjoy millions of dollars inherited and yet not being as happy to one laboring to earn money and experiencing much more happiness and well being for doing so. Well done Voltaire!! KSW55



A cross between SOUTH PARK and FOREST GUMP (not my original idea). Probably my favorite book of all time. A satirized history of the Enlightenment. For proper enjoyment and appreciation, one needs to put in context. I suggest spark notes to first timers. Having taught this book over twenty years, thank you Mr. Levin for the suggestion, I find it almost limitless as a resource of exploring mankind at his worst--and timeless. Moreover, it offers a thousand Google detours to understand the nuances of the satire. :-)55


Mediocre2 star

Plot was ok, and as a satire some parts were amusing, but overall the book's theme and message that it's trying to get across to the reader falls flat on its face and fails to invoke any worthy analysis of this book.25

Book worm🐛

Candide4 star

I liked it, it challenged me grammatically and mentally. Definitely a good read.45

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