[Milton-L] Re: Eve seeking temptation

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Tue Sep 8 19:49:58 EDT 2009


Yes, Michael. But the problem arises, I think, when "this one easy charge"--this broccoli, if you will--becomes something I have *reason to want.* It's easy enough to resist a temptation that isn't tempting: until the Serpent appears, they have more than enough of everything they could wish for. First Adam, then Satan, teaches Eve to feel privation--to feel inferior--to feel that there is something lacking in her existence, in herself, that can be remedied by ingesting the Fruit. If he hadn't "named her price"--put a value on the fruit that it hadn't had before, in her mind, and one that represented something she desperately wanted--she probably could have gone on not wanting it. And if she hadn't eaten it, Adam would have had no reason to want to. He does, because she has--and he can't bear the thought of living "in this wild Wood forlorn."

On the other hand, that is precisely the devil's traditional _modus operandi_ (i.e. to go for the jugular). I hesitate to introduce something so pop culture into this discussion, but I think it's apt. If you remember _The Exorcist_, the devil ultimately manipulates the young priest by taking the form of his mother, and preying on his guilt over having committed her to an institution. He finds Eve's weakness and exploits it the same way. She doesn't understand why God made her subordinate to Adam. Satan gives her a reason.

Best to all,

Carol Barton
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