Candide: Novel Summary: Chapters 17-18

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Chapter 17

 In this chapter the reader is introduced to the most genuine description of utopia in the novel-Eldorado.  Letting a river guide them, they accidentally (or perhaps providentially) end up in the land of gold and jewels.  Candide thinks to himself that surely this is the best of all possible worlds, as his teacher always said really did exist.

Chapter 18

 Having been taken to an old man's home, Candide and Cacambo are told the history of El Dorado, which was at one time part of the Inca empire.  Soon they begin discussing religion, and Candide is relieved to know that the people of this land worship a single deity.  Though they don't pray to this god (since there's nothing for which to pray), they do thank Him in everything they do.  Everyone is a priest, the man explains; there is no need for monks or other church officials since this world is a utopia.
Tooled with several red sheep to haul their carriage, Candide and his servant go to the king's castle.  Touring the capital, they realize that there are no government institutions, no prisons and no need for lawyers. 
Having spent a month in this place, both Candide and his friend being to grow restless, and Candide in particular greatly misses his lovely Cungonde.  The two, thus, make plans to leave the place, taking with them enough golden pebbles to make them the richest men alive in their former world.

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