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Candide | Study Guide


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Chapter 7

Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe provides an in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 7 of Voltaire's novella Candide.

Candide | Chapter 7 | Summary



The old woman takes Candide home, dresses his wounds, and gives him food. Two days later she takes him to an "isolated house" where he is reunited with Cunégonde, who survived her rape and disembowelment. He tells Cunégonde what has happened to him since he left her father's estate, and she prepares to tell him her story.


Pangloss was the first character to come back to life after an assumed death; Cunégonde is the second to be "resurrected." Though she has been raped and disemboweled, Candide is just as attracted to her as ever. Considering the importance of a woman's virginity in the 18th century, Candide's reaction is surprising. Most men would be put off, regardless of whether or not she was forced. But Candide is an optimist. According to the tenets of optimism, if God thought Cunégonde should be the victim of sexual violence, it is surely only for the best.

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