Chapter 30 Summary

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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 789

“Conclusion”

In the recesses of his heart, Candide no longer wants to marry Cunégonde, but the baron is so insulting and Cunégonde is so insistent that Candide is determined to follow through on his promise. He consults his advisors (Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo) regarding this decision.

Pangloss gives a dissertation...

(The entire section contains 789 words.)

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“Conclusion”

In the recesses of his heart, Candide no longer wants to marry Cunégonde, but the baron is so insulting and Cunégonde is so insistent that Candide is determined to follow through on his promise. He consults his advisors (Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo) regarding this decision.

Pangloss gives a dissertation in which he proves that the young baron has no rights at all over his sister and that Cunégonde therefore has every right to marry Candide if she wishes it. Martin’s advice is to throw the baron promptly into the sea. Cacambo suggests that the baron be returned to the galleys and then sent back to the Father General in Rome. The others like this idea very much, and even the old woman approves. Cunégonde is not part of the deliberations. The matter is settled with a small payment, and the group is pleased at being able both to trap a Jesuit and punish a German nobleman.

Given the rather disastrous course of his life up until now, one might easily imagine that Candide will now live a most pleasant life in this world. He indeed marries Cunégonde and they live with Pangloss, Martin, Cacambo, and the old woman. However life in this world is not so sunny. Though he once had many diamonds from El Dorado, he is cheated by the Jews until he has nothing left but his little farm. Cunégonde grows more ugly and shrewish every day, and life with her is nearly unbearable. The old woman is not well and has a disposition even worse than Cunégonde’s. Cacambo tends the garden and travels to Constantinople to sell his vegetables, and he now curses his fate. Pangloss is distressed because he is not the shining star in a German university. Martin is still convinced that life is bad wherever one is and bears all things patiently.

Candide, Pangloss, and Martin have ongoing debates about physics and morals. If they are not disputing one another’s views, they are bored. The old woman thinks all of the trials she has been through in her life are not as terrible as sitting around and doing nothing. Pangloss declares that he has had a terrible life of suffering, but since he has always asserted that everything is going splendidly he will continue to assert it even though he does not in the least believe it.

One event causes great consternation on the farm: the arrival of Paquette and Brother Giroflée. Since Candide left Venice, the couple has lost their fortune, left one another and made up again, been thrown in prison and escaped. Finally Giroflée denounced being a monk and Paquette still plies her trade but earns no money for her services. Martin is not surprised to see the couple, figuring that Candide’s money would only make them more miserable. Pangloss angrily tells Paquette she cost him the tip of his nose, an ear, and an eye.

Another great philosopher lives in the neighborhood, and the group decides to talk with him. Pangloss begs the wise man to tell them why man was created, but the philosopher asks why they think it is any of their business and slams his door in their faces. This causes a great commotion and the group soon meets an old man enjoying the cool shade of his orange trees in front of his door. He is content to stay home and work in his garden. He asks his visitors in, and the old man’s four children offer their guests some delectable food and drink. Afterwards, the two daughters perfume the men’s beards. The man farms twenty-five acres with his children, and their work helps them avoid boredom, vice, and want.

Candide reflects that this old man seems far happier than the six kings with whom they dined. Pangloss says that greatness is fraught with power and Candide says they must cultivate their garden. Pangloss agrees. Martin simply wants to work without further discussion or debate in order to make life more bearable.

Everyone now works according to his or her own talents, and the small estate yields plenty. Cunégonde is still ugly, but she becomes an excellent baker. Paquette embroiders and the old woman oversees the laundry. Giroflée is a good carpenter, and all the others work, as well. Pangloss tells Candide that this is, indeed, the best of all possible worlds. If Candide had not been kicked out of the castle, been brought before the Inquisition, traveled everywhere in the Americas, stabbed the baron, and lost his sheep, he would not be here today.

That is fine, says Candide, but now they must cultivate their garden.

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