Candide: Novel Summary: Chapters 7-8

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Chapter 7

The strange old woman takes Candide to a shanty, where she clothes and feeds him, taking general care of him for a couple of days without the young philosopher even knowing her identity.  Once he has recovered enough to see visitors, the woman leads him to a nearby house where he meets, of all people, Cunégonde. 

His lover is elated to see him, explaining that although she was close to death, she ultimately survived the attacks of the Bulgar soldiers.  Candide also relates his story, which proves quite touching to Cunégonde.

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 is Cunégonde's story-the account of her rape and her family's murder.  Becoming the prisoner-of-war of a certain, "attractive" Bulgar captain, she lives in a sort of quasi-bondage for three months, at which time he trades her to a wealthy Jew named Don Issachar.  When the Inquisitor sees Cunégonde at Mass, he immediately threatens the Jew, finally forcing him to agree to turn over his house and Cunégonde, his sex-slave, one-half of the week.  Yet though Cunégonde's servile status is clear, she boasts that she successfully held both of them off.
Invited to the auto-da-fé as a spectator, Cunégonde soon notices the tutor Pangloss and her lover, Candide.  Seeing the cruelty shown them, she also begins to lose faith in the philosophy of optimism.  Cunégonde quickly instructs her maid, the old woman, to fetch Candide, which she does.
At the end of the chapter, Don Issachar, the part-time owner of the estate, enters to "assert his rights and express his tender passion."

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