Voltaire, Candide, chapters 19-21; chapters 27-30

Reading Comprehension Quiz

Chapter 19
  1. Describe the conditions on sugar plantation in the French West Indies. These plantations were the most profitable in all the French Empire. (How do you think they financed their wars?)
  2. When Candide hears the black man's story, what does he finally conclude? (Is this a bad moment for him?)
  3. What is Candide’s plan to recover Cunegonde?
  4. How does Candide get ripped off by Mynheer Vanderdendur?
  5. How does Candide meet Martin the Manichean?

Chapter 20

  1. What is the topic of Candide's and Martin's conversations while enroute to France?
  2. What is a Socinian?
  3. What is a Manichean?
  4. What is Martin the Manichean's argument for the existence of Satan?
  5. Does what happens during the sea battle confirm Martin’s philosophy? What is Voltaire’s point?

Chapter 21

  1. What is the purpose is served by the design of the universe, according to Martin?
  2. How does he describe man in the state of nature?
  3. To what extent would Voltaire agree with Martin? Would he agree that people have Free Will as Candide argues?

Chapter 27-28

  1. How did the Baron wind up  enslaved and tortured in the Pasha’s galley? 
  2. How did Pangloss survive hanging? 
  3. How did Pangloss wind up in hot water again? 
  4. (How does Pangloss hint that he has modified his belief in optimistic determinism?)
  5. What sad event prevents Candide from achieving perfect happiness? How will
    this occurrence complete his education?

Chapter 29-30

  1. Where do Candide and his friends decide to make their home? (Recognize this place?)
  2. Why does Voltaire turn Cunegonde ugly? How does this artistic choice relate to his vision of the potential of achieving perfect happiness?
  3. Why does the family decide to get rid of the Baron? (How do they do it?) 
  4. What is life  like on Candide’s little farm? Is that so bad?
  5. What is the topic of the philosophical disputes that take place at Candide’s farm house?
  6. What wisdom does the dervish share with the family about the origin of evil?
  7. What is their neighbor's philosophy of life? 
  8. How does the existence of ice cream fit into Voltaire’s philosophy?
  9.  Has Candide learned anything from his experience?