|Adam and Eve Claude-Marie Dubufe, 1827|
But in retrospect, someone else may have suffered unduly from the start. Before the snake and the apple make their way into the story, did Adam have agency in any of his actions or decisions?
I don't think so.
What if Eden was less a garden of earthly delights and more a pen where God kept his tortured playthings under force? When I started questioning certain premises in this tale that serves as the foundation for much of modern western culture, I didn't like what I found. In a certain slant of light, the God in this story strikes me as an abusive, negligent parent. Like the kind of entity who shouldn't be allowed to adopt a pet from the SPCA, never mind design all life on earth.
It makes me feel sorry for Adam, Eve, and all of us, really.
I wrote a poem re-framing this myth. The Rat's Ass Review recently published it in their Love & Ensuing Madness series which features "poems from all points of view on the broad topic of love." My poem is entitled The Rib—a fractured fairytale, and you can read it here.