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The Garden Symbol Icon
The garden where Candide and the other remaining characters live at the end of the novel is a symbol for the world as it might be if improved by reason and the philosophy of the Enlightenment. Like Westphalia in the beginning of the novel, it resembles the Garden of Eden, but with some important differences. First of all, the characters are all on equal footing—the Baron is the only character who insists on aristocratic privileges, and he has been sent back to Rome by force. Second of all, practical work and reasoning have become more important than abstract philosophy. This is what Candide communicates when he ignores Pangloss' long rant at the very end of the novel and responds that “we must cultivate our garden.” The egalitarianism and practicality of the garden make it a symbol for a secular, Enlightenment Eden.
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