Candide is a satire about Candide, a sheltered young man who is educated by the servant Pangloss, how believes that our world is always "the best of all possible worlds". However, Candide is cast out of his happy life for kissing the Lady Cunegonde and forced to travel the world, from Spain to South America. Eventually Candide rescues Cunegonde from Constantinople, where she has been enslaved and they start a farm. In the end, Candide rejects some of Pangloss's optimism but maintains that "we must cultivate our garden".

Summary of Candide by Francois Voltaire

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Candide Chapter Summaries (Free)

1SparkNotes

Review: The most popular website for book notes. SparkNotes was created by students for students, and their summaries are accessible and extremely well-written. Besides the usual plot overview, chapter summaries, and character analysis, SparkNotes differentiates itself with a section discussing themes, motifs, and symbols.

2BookRags

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3Cliffs Notes

Review: The original provider of professionally-written study guides, Cliffs Notes were available in print form before the Internet even existed. Their content is very comprehensive and includes an analysis of characters, detailed chapter by chapter summaries, critical essays, essay topics, and many other sections.

4Pink Monkey

Review: Their chapter summaries aren't as good as other providers, but PinkMonkey often has interesting insights that aren't mentioned elsewhere on the Internet. For example, they go over literary elements (like setting, conflict, and mood), compare and contrast, and symbolism/motifs. It's a good site if you want to find a unique fact or angle that other students don't know about.

5Barron's Book Notes

Review: Barron's Book Notes is a trusted brand that excels in its literary analysis of elements like setting, themes, style, point of view, form, and structure, as well as its sample quizzes. They also have the requisite book summary and chapter breakdown. But beware the pop-up ads and outdated web design!

6GradeSaver

Review: You won't get any frills with GradeSaver -- just the content you expect. Their study guides include a full plot summary, themes and character analysis, study questions, and the e-text of the book. One hidden gem is their collection of literature essays, but you'll have to pay for it.

7Novel Guide

Review: This provider offers quality content and all of the sections you'd expect in a study guide, like quotes, chapter by chapter summary, theme analysis, author biography, and even metaphor analysis. However, the main downside is that the website is not well-formatted and the text can be difficult to read.

8Summary Central

Review: Use this website only if you're extremely pressed for time, like the morning of an exam. They offer a very short plot overview and a list of characters and quotes. However, you won't find much analysis or even a chapter summary.