Candide | Study Guide


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Chapter 27

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 27 of Voltaire's novella Candide.

Candide | Chapter 27 | Summary



As they sail to Constantinople with Cacambo, Candide and Martin discuss their evening with the six fallen kings. They learn that Cunégonde is a slave for a Turkish prince and has become very ugly. All of the gold and jewels Cacambo liberated from El Dorado are now gone; some were used to pay off the governor of Buenos Aires, and the rest were taken by a pirate. Hearing this news, Candide asks Martin if he is to be more pitied than the kings.

Candide pays a ransom to release Cacambo. Along with Martin they board a ship headed for Propontide, where Cunégonde is being held. Two galley slaves (forced to row the boat) look familiar to Candide, and for good reason. They are Pangloss and the Young Baron, both seemingly back from the dead. Candide pays ransoms for his friends, and they make their way to Propontide.


Though he has lost most of his fortune, Candide thinks he's much better off than the deposed rulers, for all he really needs is the love of a beautiful woman. His discovery that Cunégonde has lost her good looks comes as something of a blow. Martin has neither pity nor empathy for Candide and the ex-kings, saying, "I can only presume that there are millions of people on this earth who are many times more to be pitied." Loss of power and fortune are nothing compared to the loss of family, an affliction which Martin suffers every day.

Yet even those who suffer in Candide get a second chance. The resurrections of Pangloss and the Young Baron afford both characters the opportunity to make amends for their previous misdeeds. It remains to be seen whether or not they will redeem themselves.

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