In the last chapter of the novel Candide proclaims “…we must cultivate our garden…” (Voltaire 120).This assertion marks the realization of the protagonist that we ought to control and make an impact on what we already have. During the entire novel, various characters are engrossed in an unfulfilled life as they seek for happiness and joy.
They attribute their failure to fate where they assume that everything occurs due to fate and their actions are devoid of free will. Indeed, they suppose that making choices in life only signify their role in the fate’s ‘master plan’. When Candide realizes that one can control what they have in pursuit of happiness, he makes the comment to justify the rationale of their sufferance during their odysseys.
On the one hand, the characters realize that they only have their lives to control and it becomes apparent that they could attempt to make the best out of it. In consideration of the journeys that the characters embark in search of pieces of a puzzle, they appreciate that the greatest puzzle lies in their souls.
This is contrary to their initial belief that they could find the pieces and complete the puzzle. Indeed, they already had their pieces within them. As such, they could only cultivate their garden, which is synonymous to conclusion that they can only control what they have.
Candide on the other hand finds out that he could not be happy in Venice since he could not be with Cunegonde – his love. Besides, he learns that materialism could guarantee him neither happiness nor success. Social status could not assure him of contentment. In fact, he did not have control over all these things he yearned. However, when he settles down and concentrates all his efforts in his farm, he achieves happiness. Therefore, the concluding remark he makes is based on his experiences that are depicted in the novel.
It is appropriate therefore for him to conclude that everyone ought to cultivate their gardens, which they could control.
Voltaire. Candide. New York: Penguin Classics, 2005. Print.