Discuss themes/big ideas in Candide: review and reread the last two pages of the book. Then consider:
- Why a "garden"? How does this mirror Ch 1 and 2?
- What elements of Leibniz's philosophy and Optimism does Voltaire exaggerate?
- What does Voltaire show through the "honest Turk" at the end of the book? How does "cultivating a garden" keep men safe from "weariness, vice, and want"? What does Voltaire think people should do to be happy?
- What are the roles of women in the book? What does Candide (and through Candide, what do WE realize) realize about "love" and the treatment of/roles of women? How does his perspective change, and what might we learn from this?
- What is the significance of the paradoxical El Dorado?