Candide: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. Pangloss teaches that everything is for the best and that man lives in the "best of all possible worlds."
  2. When Pangloss explains that Cunegonde has been killed, Candide passes out.  Upon awakening, he muses, "Ah, best of worlds, what's become of you now?"
  3. When Jacques confronts Pangloss' systemic philosophy, the philosopher responds, ".private misfortunes make for public welfare."
  4. Seeing an abused African slave stretched out on the road before them, the two question him, and learn that a very religious Christian man is his master.  Hearing this, Candide admits to himself, "I'm through, I must give up [Pangloss'] optimism after all... It is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell."
  5. Angry and dejected, Candide tries to get the authorities involved, but they are less than helpful or polite.  Soon he resolves to himself that if there is a place where everything is for the best, "it is in Eldorado and not in the rest of the world."
  6. Later, being entertained at a home where he meets a wise man, Candide immediately asks him if he subscribes to Pangloss' philosophy of optimism.  The man says he doesn't, maintaining that "everything goes wrong in our world.."
  7. Candide responds by repeating Pangloss' teaching that "troubles are just the shadows in a beautiful picture."
  8. At this point, however, Martin asserts that "the shadows are horrible ugly blots."
  9. Now in Venice, Candide makes his first priority to find Cacambo, hoping that he has brought Cunegonde.  After a few days of fruitless searching, he grows despairing, finally resolving to Martin that Cunegonde is dead, that "all is but illusion and disaster."
  10. Following the example of a neighboring Turk, Candide decides that his household will no longer debate philosophy, saying "we must [simply] cultivate our garden."

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