No study of Candide is complete without an exploration of the final chapter and Voltaire’s ultimate message. Engage students in a final discussion using storyboard discussion starters. Ask students to come up with their own interpretations of what it means to “cultiver notre jardin” in our own lives today.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin...
Faites des choses simples, sans s’occuper de la philosophie ou des politiques.
Travaillez, pour eviter l'ennui.
S'éloignez de la société pour ne pas se mêler au conflits.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level --- N/A ---
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
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After reading the final chapter of Candide, try to interpret Voltaire’s ultimate message. While he clearly disagrees with Pangloss's optimism, he allows his protagonist, in the end, to conclude simply that he and his friends must “cultiver notre jardin”. What could this mean?
In a storyboard of 2-4 cells, come up with at least two different interpretations of this line and apply them to our society today. For each interpretation, depict a scene in the modern world that seems to exemplify “cultivating our own gardens”. Above or below each image, explain the advice that you think Voltaire intends his readers to apply to their own lives.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
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