The role of humor in Voltaire’s Candide

Choose one of the following discussion questions:

o Discuss the role of humor in Voltaire’s Candide. Choose a funny scene, explain what happens, and interpret what Voltaire is trying to accomplish by using humor in the scene.
o In the last sentence of Chapter 30 of Voltaire’s Candide, Candide says, “Excellently observed, . . . but let us cultivate our garden” (73). There are really two gardens here. First, there’s the literal garden that Candide and his companions cultivate to grow some of their own food. However, there is also a figurative garden. In other words, that vegetable garden is both a vegetable garden and something else that needs to be cultivated, a second meaning that Voltaire does not explain. Judging by what Voltaire says about the characters at the end of the novella, explain what you think the figurative meaning of the garden is.

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