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Historically, women have been viewed as the downfall of mankind. Temptation, lust, and vanity are the detriments supposedly beset by the first woman. Whether Eve or Pandora came first is irrelevant. They will be remembered as the ones responsible for ruining man and mankind forever. However, both stories should be explored to determine if the myths hold some truth or if it just the result of a sexist storyteller in a male dominated society during biblical times. In the story of Adam and Eve, woman is created merely from the rib of Adam. In the book of Genesis, it says, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.’”(Genesis, 2:21). Since man was created in the image of God, Eve should not be held completely accountable as the root of all evil. We can derive from this story, however, that because Eve was made from only part of Adam, that she is the weaker sex. Once the serpent had swayed her judgment to indulge in tasting the forbidden fruit, it is thought that she used her charm and grace to persuade Adam to do likewise. The ultimate source of evil was not actually Eve, but the serpent. The serpent, in my opinion, should be the one viewed as cruel and unjust. Eve had no intent on eating the fruit if the serpent didn’t try to persuade her. One also has to wonder if the serpent had tried to tempt Adam and if he would have been swayed just the same as Eve. Who is to say that if the roles were reversed that Adam would not have persuaded Eve just the same? Adam ate the fruit after just a little coaxing from Eve, so in my opinion, he was just as at fault as Eve. If it had been Adam who had 2 been confronted by the serpent, I am sure that the story would have had just about the same outcome. Therefore, it is hypocritical to say that Eve was at fault for the destruction of man when Adam may have done the same exact thing in the same situation. Furthermore, Adam ate of the fruit, which makes him to blame as well. Pandora, the quintessential woman, epitomizes everything beautiful and mysterious for man to possess. Created from the best features from each of the gods, she is also the backlash and revenge to befall man due to the fire that was stolen. The box or jar rather, is supposedly filled with manipulation and corruption. As some strange quirk of fate, hope was thrown into the box, which does not escape. Is ‘hope’ an element within evil? I believe it is conceivable that true evil is flawed with the concept that hope can always cause its demise. Perhaps it was placed in the box simply to make the audience examine where hope lies within themselves. It is also possible that hope was misplaced by the miraculous and marvelous gods. Are the gods liable for all of this anarchy? Is God at fault for having all of this in his divine prophecy? None of this calamity would have happened at all if the gods or God had not intervened in the first place. When God told Adam and Eve not to take from the tree of knowledge, he knew that, out of curiosity, they would partake in the tasty treat. Not to mention the serpent who was created by none other than God himself. The gods, in the other story, created all of the terrible things and are also at fault for what took place. The only thing that makes these gods different is the cause of their actions. Whereas God put Eve on earth to accompany Adam, Zeus’ actions were more out of 3 spite. Zeus was an angry god and was more vindictive than God himself. The intention of God was merely to create compatible beings and to reproduce his human species. Zeus acted on his own rage at fire being stolen. Ultimately, the difference between the God depicted in the Bible and Zeus from Hesiod’s story is that God is loving, caring, and merciful and Zeus was fulfilling his own personal vendetta. What makes us human, essentially, is because of what happened with Eve and Pandora. If these events had not taken place, supposedly, there would be no death nor procreation, as we know it. If either of these tales or both actually happened, then it was meant to be. Lust and sex are some of the greatest aspects of life. A debt of gratitude, rather than disgrace, should be laid upon these women and their stories. Maybe another point to ponder is that both Adam and Epimetheus allowed themselves to fall prey to the desires of woman. Unfortunately, society neglects to recognize the stature of their character. In fact, they were just as weak if not weaker than the women in which they came to love. All in all, the stories of the first woman are not too totally different. Actually, there is a strong correlation between the two. The jar of Pandora and the forbidden fruit have major effects on all of mankind. The tree of knowledge holds in it shame and discontent. Not to mention the serpent, not unlike Zeus, who conceived the evil that placed the blame upon Pandora for having a normal curiosity of what was inside the jar. The real root of all evil never existed in a jar or in a tree, but resides within all of us, whether we choose to accept it or not. 4 Adam, although strong and independent, felt the need for a counterpart. Would it be inconceivable to partially credit him with some of the misfortune? If the blame has to fall somewhere, I think he is enough of a man to take some of the responsibility. As a society we have been patronized with the idea to take for granted that he was not flawed. Of course, to some extent, we are supposed to believe they all are perfect. With the Pandora story, the man was cursed with only the flaw of desiring an ‘evil’ woman. Despite Epimetheus’ relation to a god, what made him such a great guy? Nothing. His one-dimensional nature allowed him to be seduced by ‘the weaker sex.’ In my opinion, every culture has been jaded to believe that woman is to blame for the unpleasantness of the world. As a woman, I feel it is a matter of chauvinism. Referring back to the Bible, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis, 3:16). That last part really gets my blood boiling. If women are to blame at all, it should be for allowing men to be the ones in power, make the decisions, and go overlooked for the wrongs in which they have done. Also, if women are supposed to be so “evil” then why would they have been set back all of these years and let themselves be prowled upon. If you ask me, it is the men who are to blame for the evils in this world because if the women had never come along then man would still find something to blame their imperfections on. They should have looked at the woman as something to be cherished instead of the main influence of their faults. If women had done their own thing in the beginning, man still would have looked at them exactly the 5 same because it was how woman was presented to them. If women had stood up for their beliefs from the beginning, I doubt we would have all the problems we do today. Children are born from the womb of this evil creature we know as woman. I suppose that the gender of the child determines its worth as a human. Despite the fact that a male from its mother is its mother’s son, it does not carry over its mother’s mischief. Time has unfortunately not changed the role of women in society. Even though women are more independent now than they were, men continue to dominate every situation. Women continue to fall at the feet of man and let themselves be walked upon. However, women have learned to shake the tales that haunt them and strengthen their character. This should not go unrecognized any longer. Personally, I feel both stories are exaggerated and misconstrued. As fiction they serve as functional building blocks from which all women should learn and grow. It is a shame we can not travel back in time and witness these accounts for ourselves and derive our own ideas from them. If we could, I doubt these fables would hold up to the fantastical and amazing stories with which we see them as today. Word Count: 1552
 
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