For questions about chapter I - VIII, go HERE.
Candide complicates his complicated life by killing two men, Issachar and a cardinal, within an hour of each other. Of course, one could argue that it was in self-defense since Issachar drew the dagger first. Then Candide had to act quickly because the cardinal walked in and would have had Candide - sword in hand, dead man at his feet - arrested and burnt. What would you do?
With Pangloss out of the picture, Candide often considers what Pangloss had taught him, and he tries to use good judgment. It's kind of like WWJD? but instead: "What did Pangloss say?"
A new character joins Candide. She is an old woman who was caring for Cunégonde. She has quite an unbelievably miserable story to tell, too. But while she wanted to kill herself a hundred times, she says she is still in love with life. She calls it a weakness, and asks,
is there anything more stupid than...to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?Meanwhile, in these chapters, Voltaire illustrates the wickedness of men in high positions of power and honor, including men of the Church. These are men who abuse their authority and do what is dishonorable, immoral, and unChristian. This is part of why Candide was banned, I suppose.
Finally, Candide's life is further tangled when he accidentally meets Cunégonde's brother, a baron. He mentions that he plans to marry Cunégonde, but the baron is offended because Candide is not of noble birth. Candide is dumbfounded because Pangloss said that "men are equal"; hence it should not matter, right? Nevertheless, the baron strikes Candide in the face with his sword, and Candide regretfully retaliates by "plunging" his sword into the baron.
Candide and Cacambo, Candide's new valet, escape to an unknown country where they are captured by the natives and are about to be eaten. However, once the natives learn who they are, they actually treat them fairly well. This little change of events encourages Candide to think maybe all is well with the world. And so he remarks,
When all is said and done, there is a sterling goodness in unsophisticated Nature; for instead of eating me, these people behaved most politely as soon as they learnt that I was not a Jesuit.Imagine how quickly you would change your heart about someone who was about to eat you, but then spared your life. Would you sing their praises, too? (No, probably not; but Candide is a gullible fellow, it seems.)
Next week, chapters XVII - XXIV