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Course Hero, "Candide Study Guide," September 23, 2016, accessed November 17, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Candide/.

Candide | Chapter 28 | Summary

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Summary

The Young Baron isn't dead, as Candide previously thought, just wounded. After he heals he is kidnapped by a Spanish raiding party, locked in a Buenos Aires prison, then released to Rome. The Superior General sends him to Constantinople, where he meets a "rather good-looking" young Muslim man. The two go to the public baths, not realizing that it is illegal for a Christian and a young Muslim to bathe together. The Young Baron receives a hundred lashes to the soles of his feet and is made a galley slave.

Pangloss has a similar experience. His hanging isn't fatal, and his screams alert the surgeon performing his autopsy that he is still alive. He, too, is nursed back to health before heading to Turkey. Wandering into a mosque, Pangloss pays too much attention to the flowers in a young woman's cleavage and, like the Young Baron, is sentenced to lashings on the soles of his feet and service in the galleys. Despite all of this, Pangloss tells Candide that he still believes that all is for the best.

Analysis

Unlike many of the other characters in Candide, Voltaire paints the Young Baron in an unflattering light. He is haughty and self-righteous, embodying many of the flaws stereotypically associated with nobility. His most damning character trait, however, is one that Voltaire only implies. Unlike Pangloss, who is always cavorting with different women, the Young Baron speaks only of affection for, and attraction between, men. In Chapter 15 the reader learns that the Young Baron is "pretty," which attracts the admiration of a Superior in the Jesuit community. Their relationship is what gains him entry into the brotherhood. In Chapter 28 he and a "rather good-looking icoglan," or boy who is being groomed for a position in the Turkish government, are caught naked in the baths together. Homosexuality existed in the 18th century, of course, but it was taboo. Voltaire hardly means it as a compliment to the Young Baron's character, and nobles in general, that he prefers men to women.

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