Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Invitation to World Literature



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David Damrosch talks about this image
The title page of a 1922 translation of Candide by Englishman Henry Morley. Alan Odle's illustrations became famous for their emphasis on the grotesque aspects of the characters and the story.
David Damrosch talks about this image
An illustration from the 1890s of the Old Woman in her youth. The Old Woman tells her life story, which begins with her as a pampered princess and ends with her haggard and impoverished. Here her ladies are dressed in the height of 19th century fashion.
Dr. Pangloss, on the left, with his young and naïve student Candide. That smile never left Pangloss' face, no matter how terrible the tragedies he witnessed or experienced.
Image from the Trier University Candide Database, courtesy of Hans-Ulrich Seifert.
Candide booted (literally) out of the castle of the Baron by the Baron, as his distressed daughter Cunégonde looks on. Candide has dared to kiss Cunégonde, a lady above his station in life, and for this he is banished. Life will never be as easy for either Candide or Cunégonde again. Soon the Baron's castle will be sacked and Cunégonde will be set on her course of tragic adventures.
A 1787 illustration of Candide and Cacambo's encounter with an enslaved man in the Caribbean. He has had one hand cut off because it got caught in the machinery he was tending on an English sugar plantation, and one leg cut off as punishment for running away. "This is the price we pay for the sugar you eat in Europe," he tells the horrified Candide. European readers were likely shocked to see themselves listed amongst the many villains in the book.
Cunégonde as an old, ugly woman, hanging up laundry; a shocked Candide is to the left. This illustration is kinder to Cunégonde than Voltaire was. He went to great lengths to describe how all the abuse she suffered destroyed both her beauty and her good nature. She will find redemption, however, at the end of the book.
Image from the Trier University Candide Database, courtesy of Hans-Ulrich Seifert.
A contemporary illustration of Voltaire holding court at a noblewoman's salon. Because of his controversial views and brilliant wit, Voltaire was a popular and prized guest at these private gatherings of society people.