[Milton-L] Free will in Eden
mthickst at hamilton.edu
Tue Nov 9 16:41:05 EST 2004
Christopher--you can start with Eve's choice to join Adam as she
relates it in her birth story--she sees him; he is "less winning
fair"; she turns away; he calls; she "yields" or chooses. Diane
McColley's Milton's Eve is very good and accessible on this scene.
Adam and Eve exercise their judgments about many things in
prelapsarian Eden--they choose to go to bed so that they can get up
in the morning to attend to their responsibilities. Accepting
responsibility--even for just gardening--seems to me to be an ethical
act. Does your student require an actual choice between "a good act"
and "a bad act" for a decision to be "ethical"?
Adam and Eve seem "truly human" to me, in that they learn and ask
questions and care for one another and the Garden. Are small
children not "truly human" if they have not been exposed to the evil
of the world?
In regard to the following:
At 3:55 PM -0500 11/9/04, Christopher Baker wrote:
>Yet granted that, what is there in Eden to "see and know" that will
>validate a choice between real good and real evil?
Does learning about evil through stories count? Isn't that what we
do in teaching stories--give our students the chance to learn
vicariously about evil (all those mistakes characters make) so that
they can avoid them?--Margie
Professor of English
198 College Hill Rd
Clinton, NY 13323
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