Candide Group Work #4 - Chapters 21 - 24
1. What is Martin’s view of life? Find three examples (quotes) from these chapters (begin with chapter 21) where he comments on the nature of man? Is he justified in holding this view? How does this specifically relate to our earlier discussion as to the nature of man (nature versus nurture). Where does Martin fall in this argument? How is it similar to James the Anabaptist’s (see, like most characters he pops up again, if not in the novel, at least in our discussion)? How is it different? Again use at least 1 quote about James and 1 quote about Martin. How would you specifically compare it to Pangloss’s view of life (in a larger sense).
2. What do Candide and Martin wager on in Chapter 24? Who wins the wager, why? Name three specific other times that Candide’s first impressions have proved wrong (there are at least that many from this chapter alone, but find examples outside of this chapter). Provide one specific example from the group’s collective experience that illustrates this idea of believing someone to be happy when in fact they were not. Now relate this to their anticipation of such places as the New World.
2b. Is there any other specific work or works (that we’ve read in this class) that you can relate to your answer for question #2? Be as specific as possible and if you finish early come back to this question and see if you can find any more. For example – consider Alma’s views of Bird – Bird’s views of Alma – and how those impressions turn out to be wrong, once we see their respective Chapters.
3. Comment on Candide’s line that he has “never seen men except in Eldorado?” (possible discussions - loss of innocence, optimism, leaving Eldorado, #1 above, #2 above, etc. etc. etc.). Link that line to at least 2 other specific lines as part of your answer. Think about our discussion on El Dorado.
3b. And yet, that line (in question 3) occurs after his betrayal of Cunegonde – to the Marchioness that he introduced to. How does your group see that betrayal fitting in with the rest of Candide’s actions? Is it possible to link this betrayal with a rejection of Pangloss’s ideas (that we live in the best of all possible worlds). Consider (ok, I know this sounds loopy but give it a try) Alma kissing the boy who gives her a ride (and realizing she was in love – but not with him).
4. Why do they execute the Admiral when Martin and Candide reach the coast of England? Does the logic they use to justify the execution specifically fit in with anything else that you’ve seen in the novel?
5. Look at what Martin says about the Gondoliers on the last page of Chapter 24. How can you specifically related this to each of your answers for questions 1-4. Can anyone link this to the main character in “The Metamorphosis?” (Think about Gregor’s invisibility and willingness to please). Please elaborate with specifics and quotes.
6. Relate Candide’s journey up to this point (and progress, education, etc.) to Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave,” and the myth of Sisyphus – pushing the rock up the hill only to have it fall, and having to that for eternity (link them separately – Candide to Plato – Candide to Sisyphus). Be specific and use at least 2 quotes (in each linkage) in illustrating your answer – the first one may be found on page 104, in the paragraph that begins “I have seen worse.”
7. Bonus Question – find someone that has seen the movie The Adventures of Baron Munchausen – the movie’s time period is just about the same as Candide (“The Enlightenment). Compare Martin’s scorn of Doctor’s (the patient that got well because a Doctor could not be found) to that of the Baron (Munchausen). What does that say – given Voltaire’s otherwise ringing endorsements of science – tell us about the state of medicine at that time?
Homework: Tuesday – Chapters 26-28. Wednesday – The Rest of the book Illuminated Texts must be submitted by Midnight Wednesday Night (so they may be presented on Friday) Friday – All Late and Extra Credit Work due .Monday (Oct 31 – Happy Halloween!) – A Movie: The History of The Printing Press. POINTS WILL BE DEDUCTED if you don’t follow the submission guidelines on the submission handouts – also All Quiet on the Western Front – book check-in will be next Wednesday.