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Candide Garden


            Humans desire happiness, pleasure, success, and above all stability. From political systems to economic sanctions, the world runs by a clock of rules and regulations to keep order. Humans desire this security in fame, success, or wealth. Furthermore, humans abhor and look down upon the unfortunate people who live in poverty, disease, or pain. Written with strongly hopeful motifs and themes, Voltaire defines a philosophical movement of optimism, humanism, and romanticism. Candide's desire to raise vegetables in his garden with his companions shares this inherently human idea: a need to find or create stability in an ambiguous world.
             Outside of their garden is a world full of chaos and confusion: lives are haplessly destroyed, young children die of illness, and the ill-fated are doomed to failure and ultimately death. This world of constant turmoil is unsettling to the human mind and soul, and it is imperative that we create this garden, regardless of what it may be: freedom of expression, art, physical exercise, or literature. For safety and sanity we cultivate an aspect of comfort and stability, so that our lives may have more meaning and purpose-amidst a world of exploitation and animosity.
             On the surface, cultivating the land served several specific roles, "Our work [cultivation] keeps us from three great evils: boredom, vice, and poverty" (119 Voltaire) Or as Pangloss would say, to prevent man from being idle - for man must always have some duty or work which needs tending. However, Candide alludes to some greater benefit of the garden besides keeping man out of trouble. The garden represents not only a literal garden, but one of philosophical merit too. Seeing a similar goal, Martin refutes Pangloss: "Lets work without theorizing, it's the only way to make life bearable" Compellingly honest, yet submissive to the nature of life. .
             If one pursues only rational and verifiable truths maybe that can offer solace for living; distinguishing between things in the world we inhabit - the controllable and the uncontrollable.


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