Candide Topics for Discussion
by Voltaire

Candide book cover
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Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. How does the author get the reader immediately the story?

2. The sounds of the characters' names are often chosen for the meaning (of one or more syllables) or the effect when spoken aloud. Which names have a humorous effect? Which are more sober? Which have associated meanings?

3. How is the tutor Pangloss' belief that this is the best of all possible worlds made to seem by turns grimly inevitable and ludicrous?

4. How does Candide receive kindness and charity? How does he receive cruelty and injury?

5. How does Candide find himself committing murder? Does this crime change him?

6. Why does Candide give so much of his money and resources away?

7. What differences does Candide notice as he travels the known world?

8. Who among the people Candide meets is happy? Why?

9. What are the major sources of unhappiness that he finds?

10. What sort of innocence does Candide possess, that is not spoiled by rejection, torture, deprivation or sexual knowledge?