Chapter 21 Notes from Candide

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Candide Chapter 21

"Candide and Martin Approach the Coast of France and Argue"

Martin tells Candide about France. He describes the French as a ridiculous people--mostly they have sex, gossip, and speak nonsense. Martin stayed in Paris for awhile and was robbed and thrown into jail.

Candide is not interested in going to Paris. He invites Martin to accompany him to Venice by way of France. Martin accepts, saying that only the wealthy are welcome in Venice, and that he will follow Candide because he has money. Candide asks Martin if he believes the story of the flood in the Bible. Martin isn't convinced. He thinks the world was made to drive them mad. He isn't surprised at all by Candide's story about the ladies who loved monkeys. Candide wonders if mankind has always been so pathetic:

"'Do you think,' said Candide, 'that men have always massacred each other, as they do today? Have they always been liars, cheats, traitors, brigands, weak, flighty, cowardly, envious, gluttonous, drunken, grasping, and vicious, bloody, backbiting, debauched, fanatical, hypocritical, and silly?'" Chapter 21, pg. 95

Topic Tracking: Optimism 12

Martin muses that men can't change because they are innately evil. Candide counters with the argument that men have free will.

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