Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Candide (kahn-DEED), a gentle, honest, and pleasant young man, reputed to be the illegitimate son of the sister of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. Expelled from the Baron’s castle after exploring the mysteries and pleasures of love with Cunegonde, the Baron’s daughter, Candide travels all over the world. A dutiful young man who has been taught that this is the best of all possible worlds, Candide searches the globe for proof, meeting old friends and acquaintances in unexpected places and unusual circumstances. During his travels he has many misadventures and endures many hardships and pains. Impressed into the Bulgarian army, he discovers the horrors of war. He lives through the Lisbon Earthquake and is ordered flogged by officers of the Inquisition. He finds and loses his sweetheart Cunegonde. He discovers wealth and loses it. He kills men when he does not mean to do so. All these experiences slowly convince Candide that this is really not the best of all possible worlds. After years of wandering, he retires to a little farm where he lives with a small group of friends and his wife, Cunegonde, now old and far from pretty.
Cunegonde (kew-nay-GOHND), the beautiful daughter of the Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh. With Candide, she explores love, only to have her young lover dismissed violently from the castle. After his dismissal, she endures much pain and many adventures. She is captured by the Bulgarians, raped, and wounded. She makes her way to Portugal, where she becomes the mistress of two men, a Jew and an officer of the Inquisition. She is reunited with Candide only to be separated from him by another series of unhappy adventures. At last she and Candide are reunited. Married, they settle down on a small farm. By that time, his ardor for her has been cooled by the adventures she has undergone and the effect they have had upon her. She becomes adept...
(The entire section is 805 words.)
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