Chapter 1 Notes from Candide

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Candide Chapter 1

"How Candide Was Brought Up in a Noble Castle and How He Was Expelled from the Same"

In Westphalia, a province of Germany, Candide lives in the castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. Naïve, simple-minded, and impressionable, he is the illegitimate son of the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh's sister, who refused to marry Candide's father as he had only 71 quarterings. Because this castle has a door and windows, the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh is very powerful. He has all of the trappings of nobility. The dogs hanging about the stables can be assembled into a pack of hounds if need be; the men who take care of the horses can function as huntsmen, and the man in charge of the village parish is, for the Baron, the Grand Almoner. People of the village indulge the Baron by laughing at his stories. They call him "My Lord." The Baron's wife, carrying her 350-pound figure around with great dignity, is held in similar regard.

Topic Tracking: Pride 1

Cunégonde is the Baron's attractive seventeen year old daughter, and the Baron's son takes after his great father. Pangloss is the tutor of the castle. He teaches a brand of philosophy called optimism, which holds that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that all occurrences are governed by the laws of cause and effect, and by necessary and sufficient reasons.

"'Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches. Stones were formed to be quarried and to build castles; and My Lord has a very noble castle; the greatest Baron in the province should have the best house; and as pigs were made to be eaten, we eat pork all year round; consequently, those who have asserted all is well talk nonsense; they ought to have said that all is for the best.'" Chapter 1, pg. 4

Topic Tracking: Flawed Logic 1
Topic Tracking: Optimism 1

Cunégonde sees Dr. Pangloss in sexual congress with her mother's waiting-maid, Paquette. Cunégonde wants try doing the same with Candide. The Baron discovers the two kissing, and Candide is kicked in the backside several times before he is thrown out.

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