The role of humor in Voltaire’s Candide

Choose one of the following discussion questions: 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. 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. Mini-Essays and Discussions: The Mini-Essays (your "new thread" in the discussion) are Gordon Rule assignments. Therefore, you should use your best writing skills when you work on these assignments. Each Mini-Essay and Discussion assignment has three basic requirements: Prepare: Read the literature that is the assignment and take note of its discussion question. Be careful to answer the discussion question for each Mini-Essay. You work needs to be "on topic," as the saying goes. Write: Adhere to the length requirements for the Mini-Essay and the discussion portion of the assignment. "New Threads" should be at least 300 words in length. In-text Citations: If you use a quotation from the literature in your mini-essay, please place an in-text citation (also called a parenthetical citation) immediately after you close the quotation marks and before you place a period for your sentence. That way, anyone in the class (including me!) can easily find the quotation in the literature if necessary Grading: The number of posts and replies you need to get credit are shown in the Grading table below. Keep in mind that the grades in the chart assume that your "new thread" (mini-essay) and "replies" satisfy the length criteria in #2 above. Also, because these mini-essays are Gordon Rule assignments, the grade could go up or down depending on the quality of your writing.

 
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