Caustic and hilarious, Candide has ranked as one of the world's great satires since its first publication in 1759. It concerns the adventures of the youthful Candide, disciple of Dr. Pangloss.
In the course of his travels in Europe and South America, Candide sees and suffers such misfortune that it is difficult for him to believe that this is "the best of all possible worlds," as Dr. Pangloss has assured him. Indeed, it seems to be quite the opposite. In brilliantly skewering such naiveté, Voltaire mercilessly exposes and satirizes romance, science, philosophy, religion, and government—the ideas and forces that permeate and control the lives of men.
After many trials and travails, Candide is reunited with Cunegonde, his sweetheart. He then buys a little farm in Turkey where he and Cunegonde, Dr. Pangloss, and others retire. In the end, Candide decides that the best thing in the world is to cultivate one's own garden.