Candide Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Dr. Pangloss' philosophy.

Dr. Pangloss teaches that there is no effect without a cause. Therefore, he rationalizes that however things are, it is always the best of all possible worlds.

2. Identify the family of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh.

The Baron of Thunder-ten-tronckh's family consists of himself, his respected wife, their son and heir, and their beautiful daughter, Cunegonde.

3. Explain how Candide becomes a member of the Bulgarian army.

Candide becomes a member of the Bulgarian army when two Bulgarian men befriend him and trick Candide into drinking to the health of the King of Bulgaria. Afterward, he is informed that he has committed himself to defending the King.

4. Why does Candide choose being shot instead of the regimental flogging?

Given a choice of 12 bullets to the brain or 36 lashes by the entire regiment, Candide chooses being shot in the head. There are 2,000 men in the regiment and each man will give Candide 36 lashes, so he begs to be killed.

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