What has Candide realized about life through his journeys?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Candide starts off on his journeys believing what Pangloss taught him: That everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. Through all his painful experiences, as well as what he is told about Pangloss's painful experiences, Candide learns that this cannot be the best of all possible worlds. At the end of the book he has come to believe that it is wise not to expect too much of humanity and that it is best to live a simple, inconspicuous, industrious life. "Work helps to preserve us from three great evils--weariness, vice, and want." His whole new attitude is summed up in a famous moral: "Il faut cultiver notre jardin." ("It is important to cultivate our own garden.") Voltaire himself became very involved in gardening in his old age.


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