Discussion Questions: Candide

May 18, 2010 at 12:04 am 4 comments

Hello, Challengers! We’re studying Candide this week, Voltaire’s most widely-read work and possibly the most widely-taught work of  French Literature. The work is short, and therefore there are only two topics this week. However, feel free to riff a little in the comments or in a post on your own blog!

  • What do you think of the character of Candide? Is he a dolt, or is he at least somewhat sympathetic? Is there any character you either love or absolutely cannot stand? Why?
  • Voltaire’s intent is pretty clear: to satirize Leibnizian optimism. But do you think he is as effective as he could be? Why (or why not)?

Remember, if you participate on Thursday, you can be entered to win a Penguin Clothbound Classic! See you in a few days :)


Entry filed under: LT Classics Challenge. Tags: , , .

Weekly Geeks: P.A.B.D Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Corey  |  May 18, 2010 at 6:27 am

    So excited to discuss on Thursday!

  • 2. Iris  |  May 19, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I second that. I’m looking forward to reading what other people thought about the book :)

  • 3. silverseason  |  May 19, 2010 at 2:41 am

    And while you are at it, take a look at Leonard Bernstein’s Candide (the musical). I saw a revival a couple of years ago. In it, young Candide is naive and sort of sweet, but he does learn (slowly) from his experiences.

    Is the moral perhaps that only the very young can be totally optimistic?

    • 4. KT  |  May 31, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      Perhaps! I didn’t notice any truly optimistic older people — Martin, the oldest, is also the most cynical.


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