1. What is “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology”?
Pangloss teaches metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology. Pangloss states that the world is the best of all possible worlds in which all is well and all is for the best. Voltaire writes “He could prove that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of all possible worlds, the Baron’s castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and My Lady the best of all possible baronesses.” Voltaire is using satire of his made up profession. By making Pangloss teach Candide this made up profession of “metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology” Pangloss is not teaching Candide anything useful. The word
metaphysico-theologo-cosmolonigology sounds super complex but in reality it is meaningless gibberish showing that pangloss has flawed theories about the world.
2. What do the early chapters tell you about the social, political and th
religious environment of 18
C. Europe? What are “quarterings”?
Social: quarterings are a measurement of your birth, so the more quarterings the more noble/high up you would be.
Political: Candide is kicked out of the Baron’s castle for being caught with Cunegonde, implying that there were strict social classes within Europe at the time, which could not intermingle
Religious: Not really the early chapters, but Candide identifies many people simply based on their religions (the Anabaptist, the Jewish man who half owned Cunegonde, etc.) But in chapter III page 5, Candide goes to Holland because he heard they “were Christians”, so he expected them to treat him well. This goes to show how deep the religious differences were between countries at the time. 3. What viewpoints are represented by the major characters in the story? Explain the viewpoint of Candide, Cunegonde, Pangloss, Cacambo, Martin, “the old woman,” and Count Pococurante.
In the beginning Candide’s viewpoint was the same as the philosophy of his dear teacher Pangloss. He believed in unwavering optimism and that the current world was the best of all possibilities. Cunegonde, after witnessing the murder of her family and going through her own tragedies, believes the world to be a terrible place and that Pangloss was completely and utterly wrong. Cacambo
believes that men are naturally prone to killing each oth...