Candide | Study Guide

Voltaire

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Chapter 25

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 25 of Voltaire's novella Candide.

Candide | Chapter 25 | Summary

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Summary

Candide and Martin pay a visit to one Signor Pococuranté, whom they have heard described as "a man who has never known troubles." However it turns out that he also hasn't known any happiness. Pococuranté has something bad to say about every subject: music, books, art, his garden, and even the beautiful girls who act as his servants. Candide is horrified by the man's negative attitude, but Martin finds it perfectly reasonable.

As they leave, Candide comments that their host is a genius, for "[t]here is no pleasing him." Martin counters that acting superior to everything doesn't make you a genius, nor does it make you happy.

Analysis

Signor Pococuranté finds flaws in everything, which Candide interprets as being "superior to all he possesses." Candide, "who had been brought up never to judge anything for himself," thinks that this attitude is exemplary. To not care about material things must mean that Pococuranté is happy: after all, discovering faults in others is fun, right? Martin, who shares Pococuranté's less-than-cheerful disposition, sees what Candide cannot: pleasure and happiness are related. Pococuranté finds pleasure in nothing; therefore, he cannot be happy.

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