Chapter 22 Notes from Candide

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Candide Chapter 22

"What Happened to Candide and Martin in France"

They reach Bordeaux. Candide wants to go straight to Venice. He gives his sheep to the Academy of Sciences, which awards a prize to a man who explains why the sheep was red.

Candide and Martin meet travelers who are on their way to Paris. Their enthusiasm convinces Candide to see Paris. Candide gets sick when he arrives. His conspicuous wealth attracts unsolicited and disingenuous doctors, attendants, and card players. Candide receives treatment, which makes him worse. A clerk announces that Candide will not be given a proper burial if he doesn't accept the religious practices in vogue at the time. Martin throws the clerk out, and Candide gets better.

The sly abbé from Périgord takes Candide to the theatre. Someone says the play is very bad because the author does not believe in innate ideas. (John Locke, admired by Voltaire, believed people acquire knowledge through experience. Descartes, on the other hand, held that people were born with certain innate ideas).

Candide wants to meet the actress who plays the Queen of England. He innocently wonders how he should behave around a queen of England, although she is just an actress playing the queen. The abbé tells him that Parisians respect queens if they are pretty but throw them in the sewer if they are dead. Candide is a little shocked.

The abbé takes Candide to the house of the Marquise de Parolignac to play faro (a card game). The Marquise cheats Candide out of more money, a share of which goes to the abbé. After the card game, a man of letters talks about writing tragedies. Candide is transfixed by the man's philosophical tone. He reminds Candide of Pangloss. Candide asks him if he agrees that all is for the best. The man says, to the contrary, he believes that life is "an eternal war" (104). The Marquise de Parolignac steals the diamonds Candide wears on his fingers while she seduces him.

The abbé orchestrates a meeting in an unlit room with a woman who claims to be Cunégonde. Fooled, Candide gives money to the imposter. The abbé has Candide and Martin arrested on the grounds that they look suspicious. Martin wises up to the abbé's scheming and suggests that Candide bribe the police officer. The police officer accepts the bribe after telling them that all strangers are arrested in France. They are taken to Dieppe where Candide and Martin board a Dutch ship destined for England.

Topic Tracking: Flawed Logic 10
Topic Tracking: Hypocrisy 12
Topic Tracking: Optimism 13

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