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Kelly Rogers

Miss Akers

Honors English 9

19 October 2017

The Weight of the World

In the book, The Bible as in Literature, suffering is a common theme presented in every

story. In the beginning, Adam, the first man, and Eve, the first woman, are placed in a garden by

God. They are allowed to eat anything they want except the fruit from the tree of knowledge of

good and evil, or the forbidden fruit. A serpent convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, but as

soon as she takes a bite, sin is cast upon mankind. Eve suffers when God punishes her with pain

in labor and inferiority to men, but suffers the most from the guilt of making Adam and the

serpent struggle.

Adam, Eve’s husband, is punished along with Eve because he is also tempted into eating

the fruit. God says to Adam: “You will get your food from it only by labor” (19). The result of

this punishment is Adam has to work for his food, and survival will not come easily. Eve is also

affected by this because she will have to labor to receive food and survive. Along with working

for food, God tells Adam: “On your account, the earth will be will yield thorns and

thistles for you” (19). For Adam, the earth will no longer be working with him, but against him

in farming. Therefore, he will have to work even harder to collect enough food to sustain Eve

and himself. The final punishment God places on Adam is: “Dust you are, dust you will return”

(19). Adam, formed from dust, is now vulnerable to death and will return back to the ground
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when he dies. Adam’s struggles of working for food and death are not only for him to overcome,

but also a challenge for Eve, therefore increasing Eve’s amount of punishment and remorse.

The serpent is forced to suffer from Eve’s mistake as well as Adam. God takes away the

serpent’s legs when saying: “On your belly you will crawl” (19). The result of this is humans

will always have an advantage to snakes because they have legs. Therefore, humans will act

superior to snakes from this punishment. God also said to the serpent: “I shall put enmity

between you and the women… they will strike at your head and you will strike at their heel”

(19). This punishment explains the tension humans and snakes share, and explains that humans

will always have the upper-hand in the bitter relationship. Eve is the reason the snake has to

suffer and why humans will always believe they are superior to animals.

Even though Adam and the serpent were cursed for their wrong deeds, Eve was penalized

the most. Her suffering was through not only physical pain, but also through emotional pain.

God told Eve, “I shall give you great labor in childbearing” (19). When Eve gives birth to a

child, she will feel pain through the process of labor. God is revealing to Eve that nothing will

come easily for her, and she, like Adam, will have to work to receive what she needs. God also

punishes Eve by taking away her voice in a relationship: “You will desire your husband, but he

will be your master” (19). This consequence gives Adam superiority to Eve, therefore giving the

man the power in the relationship. Of the three, Eve takes on the worst punishment because she

has to live with the guilt of knowing that she causes Adam and the serpent to suffer.

In conclusion, by Eve eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, there

are repercussions that affect herself and those around her. Adam now has to work hard to make

food and survive, and he will die going back to the ground, where he was created. The serpent

will forever crawl on his belly, and always have the disadvantage when fighting humans. He will
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be lower than them, both physically and socially, making the snake inferior to the humans. God

punishes Eve with her own struggles, painful labor and less power than men, but also has the

worst punishment of guilt. She has to live knowing it is her fault Adam, the serpent, and every

generation after the first man and women, will suffer because she disobeyed God by eating the

forbidden fruit. Eve is living with the sin of the world on her shoulders.