Candide, a pure and sincere youth, is brought up in the impoverished castle of a beggar, but a vain Westphalian Baron, along with his son and daughter. Their home teacher, Dr. Panglass, a homegrown philosopher-metaphysician, taught the children that they live in the best of the worlds, where everything has a cause and effect, and events tend to a happy ending.
The misfortunes of Candide and his incredible journeys begin when he is expelled from the castle for infatuation with the beautiful daughter of Baron Kunigunda.
In order not to die of hunger, Candide recruits to the Bulgarian army, where he is flogged to death. He hardly escapes death in a terrible battle and flies to Holland. There he meets his teacher of philosophy, dying of syphilis. He is treated for charity, and he gives Candida terrible news about the extermination of the Baron’s family by the Bulgarians. Candide for the first time questions the optimistic philosophy of his teacher, his awful and horrible
news is so shocking. Friends are sailing to Portugal, and, as soon as they step onto the shore, a terrible earthquake begins. They are wounded, they fall into the hands of the Inquisition for preaching about the need for free will for man, and the philosopher must be burned at the stake, so that it helps to subdue the earthquake. Candida is whipped and forced to die on the street. An unfamiliar old woman picks it up, nurses and invites to a luxurious palace, where he is met by the beloved Kunigunda. It turned out that she miraculously survived and was resold by the Bulgarians to a wealthy Portuguese Jew, who was forced to share it with the Grand Inquisitor himself. Suddenly a Jew, the master of Kunigunda, appears in the doorway. Candide kills first him, and then the Grand Inquisitor. All three decide to flee, but on the way some monk steals from Kunigunda jewelry, donated to her by the Grand Inquisitor. They hardly reach the port and board a ship sailing to Buenos Aires. There they first seek the governor to get married, but the governor decides that such a beautiful girl should belong to him, and makes her an offer
that she would not mind taking. At the same moment the old woman sees through the window, as from coming to the harbor ship descends the monk who robbed them and tries to sell jewelery to the jeweler, but he will recognize in them the property of the Grand Inquisitor. Already on the gallows the thief admits to stealing and describes in detail our heroes. Servant of Candida Cacambo persuades him to flee immediately, not without reason, believing that women somehow get out. They go to the possession of the Jesuits in Paraguay, who in Europe profess Christian kings, but here they conquer the land from them. In the so-called father, Colonel Kandid recognizes the baron, brother Kunigunda. He also miraculously survived after the massacre in the castle and the whim of fate was among the Jesuits. Upon learning of Candide’s desire to marry his sister, the Baron tries to kill a low-born fugitive, but the wounded man falls. Candide and Kakambo flee and are captured by the wild orejlons, who, thinking, that friends are servants of the Jesuits, are going to eat them. Candide proves that he has just killed the father of the colonel, and again avoids death. So life again confirmed the correctness of Cacambo, who believed that a crime in one world can benefit in another.
On the way from the Oreilons Candide and Cacambo, straying off the road, get to the legendary land of Eldorado, about which in Europe there were wonderful fables, that gold there is valued no more than sand. Eldorado was surrounded by impregnable rocks, so no one could penetrate there, and the inhabitants themselves never left their country. So they retained the original moral purity and bliss. All lived, it seemed, in contentment and gaiety; people peacefully worked, in the country there were neither prisons, nor crimes. In prayers, no one begged the blessings of the Most High, but only thanked Him for what He already had. Nobody acted under compulsion: the propensity to tyranny was absent both in the state, and in people’s characters. When meeting with the monarch of the country guests usually kissed him on both cheeks. The king persuades Candida to stay in his country, because it is better to live where you like. But friends really wanted to appear rich in people in their homeland, and also to connect with Kunegnonda. The king, at their request, gives friends a hundred sheep, laden with gold and gems. An amazing machine takes them through the mountains, and they leave the blessed land, where in fact everything happens for the better, and which they will always regret.
While they are moving from the borders of Eldorado to the city of Suriname, all sheep, except for two, perish. In Suriname, they learn that in Buenos Aires they are still being searched for the murder of the Grand Inquisitor, and Kunigunda has become the beloved concubine of the governor Resheno that one Cacambo will go there to buy the beauty, and Candide will go to the free republic of Venice and there will wait for them. Almost all of his treasures are stealing from the swindler merchant, and the judge still punishes him with a fine. After these incidents, the baseness of the human soul once again plunges Candida into terror. Therefore, in the fellow travelers, the young man decides to choose the most unfortunate person, insulted by fate. So he considered Martin, who after the troubles he had experienced became a deep pessimist. Together they sail to France, and on the way Martin convinces Candida that in the nature of man to lie, kill and betray his neighbor,
In Paris Candide gets acquainted with local customs and customs. Both disappoint him very much, and Martin only strengthens more in the philosophy of pessimism. Candida immediately surrounded by scammers, flattery and deceit, they draw money out of him. All at the same time enjoy the incredible trustfulness of the young man, whom he saved, despite all the misfortunes. To one rascal he talks about the love of the beautiful Kunigund and his plan to meet her in Venice. In response to his sweet frankness, Candida is set up a trap, he faces a prison, but, bribing guards, friends are saved on a ship sailing to England. On the English shore, they are witnessing the absolutely senseless execution of an innocent admiral. From England Candide finally arrives in Venice, thinking only of meeting with the beloved Kunigunda. But there he does not find it, and a new model of human sorrows – a servant from his native castle. Her life leads to prostitution, and Candide wants to help her with money, although the philosopher Martin predicts that none of this will work. As a result, they meet her in an even more distressed state. Consciousness that suffering is inevitable for all, makes Candida look for a man, alien grief. This was considered a noble Venetian. But, after visiting this person, Candide is convinced that happiness for him is in criticism and discontent with others, and also in denying any beauty. Finally, he discovers his Cacambo in the most miserable position. He says that after paying a huge ransom for Kunigund, they were attacked by pirates, and they sold Kunigunda to serve in Constantinople. Worse yet, she lost all her beauty. Candide decides that, as a man of honor, he still must find his beloved, and travels to Constantinople. But on the ship, among the slaves, he recognizes Dr. Pangloss and the baron himself. They miraculously escaped death, and fate brought them slaves on the ship in complex ways. Candide immediately redeems them and gives the remaining money for Kunigundu, the old woman and the small farm.
Although Kunigunda became very ugly, she insisted on marriage with Candide. The little society had no choice but to live and work on the farm. Life was truly painful. Nobody wanted to work, boredom was terrible, and only that there was no end to philosophize. They argued that it was preferable: to subject themselves to so many terrible trials and vicissitudes of fate as those that they experienced, or to condemn themselves to the terrible boredom of inactive life. Nobody knew a decent answer. Pangloss lost his faith in optimism, but Martin, on the other hand, became convinced that people everywhere are equally bad, and suffered difficulties with humility. But they meet a man who lives a life of seclusion on his farm and is quite happy with his fate. He says that any ambition and pride are fatal and sinful, and that only labor for which all people were created, can save from the greatest evil: boredom, vice and want. Work in his garden, not blabbing, so Candide makes a saving decision. The community works hard, and the land rewards them a hundredfold. “You need to cultivate your garden,” Candid never tires of reminding them.