By Yana BondarchukTue. 30 Apr. 20243min Read

10 Famous Candide Quotes

"Candide" follows the naive young protagonist on a whirlwind journey through a world filled with absurdity, hypocrisy, and injustice.
10 Famous Candide Quotes

If you're a fan of satirical literature and philosophical exploration, you might find Voltaire's "Candide" to be a thought-provoking and witty examination of the human condition and the nature of optimism. Let's delve into this classic novel and uncover its themes of resilience, skepticism, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world.

"Candide" is a satirical novella written by the French philosopher Voltaire and first published in 1759. It is renowned for its biting wit, irreverent humor, and scathing critique of the prevailing philosophical and religious beliefs of its time.


"All is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds." – Pangloss


This oft-repeated maxim by Pangloss embodies the optimistic philosophy satirized throughout "Candide." It highlights Voltaire's critique of philosophical optimism, mocking the idea that everything happens for a reason in a perfectly designed world.

"We must cultivate our garden." – Candide

This quote represents the central theme of the novel—personal responsibility and pragmatism in the face of suffering. It suggests that in spite of the world's chaos, individuals can find fulfillment and control in tending to their own lives and immediate needs.

"If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?" – Candide

After witnessing and experiencing numerous hardships, Candide questions Pangloss’s teachings. This moment is crucial, marking Candide's growing skepticism about naive optimism.

"It is love; love, the comfort of the human species, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, love, tender love." – Candide

This quote reflects Candide's romantic nature and his persistent search for love in a harsh world. It underscores the novel's exploration of love as a powerful motivator and perhaps one of the few redeeming qualities in a flawed world.

"The work kept us from three great evils: boredom, vice, and need." – Candide

Through this realization, Candide finds that labor and purpose can provide relief from the world’s suffering—a stark contrast to his earlier philosophical teachings. This idea promotes the value of hard work and self-sufficiency.

"Let us work without reasoning... It is the only way to make life endurable." – Martin

Martin, the pessimist, offers this advice, contrasting sharply with Pangloss’s idealism. It reflects Voltaire's criticism of overthinking and philosophical speculation without practical application.

"Fools admire everything in an author of reputation." – Pangloss

This quote highlights Voltaire's critique of intellectual snobbery and blind adherence to authority, themes that permeate his works as he often targets the pretensions of the literary and philosophical elites.

"Man was put into the garden of Eden with an express condition that he should not eat of the tree of knowledge, and he ate of it still." – Martin

Martin uses this biblical reference to underscore human disobedience and the inevitable quest for knowledge, suggesting that suffering is a result of human nature.

"But why should I have wanted your sheep?" – Candide

Candide's innocent query reflects his fundamental goodness and naivety, which persist despite the corrupting influences around him. It highlights his character's purity in a corrupt world.

"Optimism," said Cacambo, "What is that?" – Cacambo

Cacambo's question exposes the absurdity of blind optimism in the face of brutal reality, emphasizing Voltaire's satirical attack on the philosophical ideas of his time that seemed detached from the harsh truths of everyday life.

Download Candide PDF Free

Read “Candide
” on PDF

Download PDF Reader Pro to quickly and easily enable “Read Mode” for a pleasant reading experience on your desktop, tablet or phone.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!

If you liked this collection of quotes, you will also like our list of classic romance novels, available to read about, download and to import to PDF Reader Pro, right here on our blog. 

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!