Chapter 17 Notes from Candide

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Candide Chapter 17

"Arrival of Candide and his Valet in the Country of Eldorado and What They Saw There"

Cacambo and Candide leave the Oreillon territory. Cacambo tells Candide he wants to take the shortest road to Europe because the new world is just as terrible as the old one. Candide could not agree more. Candide rules out staying in Paraguay or going back to Westphalia or Lisbon: it's too dangerous. But he doesn't want to leave Cunégonde in South America. They decide to try and find the country of Cayenne.

They travel, their horses die, and they almost starve. They arrive at a magnificent country called Eldorado. Eldorado is a glorious utopian society, where everything is designed for purposes of utility, beauty and pleasure. The streets are littered with jewels and gold. Some children in Eldorado play quoits with the gems and toss them to the ground when they finish. Candide supposes they have been taught well since they don't keep the gold and jewels to themselves. Meanwhile, Candide and Cacambo greedily collect some of the plentiful stuff.

The inhabitants of Eldorado are all happy and profoundly generous. They come to an inn. The hosts serve them an exotic, lavish meal, which the government of Eldorado pays for. Being part Peruvian, Cacambo translates for Candide. Everyone laughs when Candide and Cacambo try to pay with the pebbles and mud of Eldorado. Candide and Cacambo are amazed. Candide notes that Eldorado must be the world in which all is well.

"'[I]n spite of what Dr. Pangloss said, I often noticed that everything went very ill in Westphalia.'" Chapter 17, pg. 72

Topic Tracking: Optimism 9

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