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Candide | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Mid-18th century, winter

    Candide is exiled from his childhood home for kissing Cunégonde.

    Chapter 1
  • Months later, Lisbon

    Following an earthquake, Pangloss is hanged as a heretic by the Inquisition.

    Chapter 5
  • Two days later, Lisbon

    Candide is reunited with Cunégonde. He kills both of the men who share her sexual favors.

    Chapter 7
  • Weeks later, Paraguay

    Candide encounters the Young Baron, who forbids him to marry Cunégonde. Candide seemingly kills him.

    Chapter 14
  • Weeks later, El Dorado

    Candide and Cacambo find the mysterious El Dorado, "the best of all possible worlds."

    Chapter 17
  • A month later

    Candide and Cacambo leave El Dorado with riches. Cacambo goes to Buenos Aires to find Cunégonde.

    Chapter 19
  • Weeks later

    Candide, having lost almost all of his jewels and gold, sails back to Europe with Martin.

    Chapter 20
  • Months later

    Candide reunites with Pangloss and the Young Baron, both alive and serving as galley slaves.

    Chapter 27
  • Days later, Propontide

    Candide finds Cunégonde, who has grown ugly. The Young Baron forbids their marriage but is ignored.

    Chapter 29
  • Months later, Propontide

    Candide and his friends finally find contentment working together on a small farm.

    Chapter 30

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Candide lives with his extended family in Westphalia, which is in the northwestern part of present-day Germany. His uncl... Read More
Chapter 2 Candide, poor and homeless, ends up in a tavern in the next town. Two men buy him dinner, which Candide thinks is proof ... Read More
Chapter 3 Candide sees the ravages of war: women raped and disemboweled and men shot and maimed. He finally makes it to Holland. H... Read More
Chapter 4 The beggar turns out to be none other than Pangloss, Candide's former tutor. He tells Candide that everyone at Thunder-t... Read More
Chapter 5 As the storm rages, the Anabaptist saves the life of a crazed sailor and ends up going overboard. Pangloss prevents Cand... Read More
Chapter 6 Pangloss is arrested for heresy, as is Candide for listening to a heretic. At an Inquisition ceremony for the torture or... Read More
Chapter 7 The old woman takes Candide home, dresses his wounds, and gives him food. Two days later she takes him to an "isolated h... Read More
Chapter 8 Cunégonde explains that she was indeed stabbed in the side and raped during the Bulgar attack at Thunder-ten-tronckh. Sh... Read More
Chapter 9 Don Issacar draws his dagger on Candide, who in turn runs his sword through his opponent. The Grand Inquisitor walks in,... Read More
Chapter 10 The money and jewels Cunégonde brings with her are stolen, leaving the trio with nothing. Candide notes that Pangloss of... Read More
Chapter 11 The old woman tells the story of her life, explaining that she is the daughter of (a fictitious) Pope Urban X and a prin... Read More
Chapter 12 It turns out the Italian, who is a eunuch, sang at the princess's mother's chapel, and he had taken care of the young pr... Read More
Chapter 13 The old woman is right—everyone on the ship has an equally heartbreaking story to tell, which passes the time until they... Read More
Chapter 14 Candide's valet, Cacambo, urges his master to switch sides and fight for the Jesuits instead of against them. The guards... Read More
Chapter 15 Mistaken for dead after the attack on Thunder-ten-tronckh, the Young Baron is loaded onto a cart to be buried at a Jesui... Read More
Chapter 16 Candide and Cacambo are "deep into unknown country" when they hear the cries of two naked women who are being chased by ... Read More
Chapter 17 Cacambo suggests that they go back to Europe, but there's nothing for Candide there except war and a date with a bonfire... Read More
Chapter 18 Candide and Cacambo learn about the history of El Dorado from an old man. He explains that nobody enters or leaves the l... Read More
Chapter 19 The journey doesn't go nearly as well as planned. All but two of the llamas die or disappear, making it impossible to ca... Read More
Chapter 20 Martin and Candide sail for 15 days, discussing "moral and physical evil" the entire time. Candide, still carrying a few... Read More
Chapter 21 Candide and Martin are still sailing to France, which Candide learns Martin has visited before. He had an awful time, en... Read More
Chapter 22 Candide and Martin immediately head to Paris upon arrival in France. Candide becomes ill, but rumors of his wealth earn ... Read More
Chapter 23 Candide and Martin land in England, but before they can disembark from the ship they see a man executed by 12 bullets to... Read More
Chapter 24 A month passes without Candide hearing from Cacambo and Cunégonde, and he wishes he had either stayed in El Dorado or ki... Read More
Chapter 25 Candide and Martin pay a visit to one Signor Pococuranté, whom they have heard described as "a man who has never known t... Read More
Chapter 26 Candide is astonished to meet Cacambo at their Venetian inn. Now a slave Cacambo has been separated from Cunégonde, who ... Read More
Chapter 27 As they sail to Constantinople with Cacambo, Candide and Martin discuss their evening with the six fallen kings. They le... Read More
Chapter 28 The Young Baron isn't dead, as Candide previously thought, just wounded. After he heals he is kidnapped by a Spanish rai... Read More
Chapter 29 Candide and Cunégonde are reunited. She has indeed become ugly—"her eyes bloodshot, her breasts sunken, her cheeks lined... Read More
Chapter 30 Candide doesn't want to marry Cunégonde, but he does so anyway to spite the Young Baron before sending him back to the g... Read More
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