Damnation and Starvation

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"Who of little love                    
Know how to starve!" (Dickinson 15-16).   

I could not help but hear Thomas C. Foster's words (well the titles of two chapters in his book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor) in my head when I read those lines: "When in doubt, it's either from Shakespeare...or the Bible." 

Though Dickinson makes many biblical references in this poem, these two lines conveyed a hidden reference to me: the story of Adam and Eve.  Adam and Eve were doing just fine until Eve got hungry and was tempted by a serpent and ate the forbidden fruit.  That's the scenario in a nutshell, but does it not give the same idea?  Temptation is evil.  And yet, Dickinson describes God's table as being held too high for us, almost as if we are being teased by it.  Instead of us humans trying to leap and jump and get on the table for some food, we starve.  Why?  Because we know better.  Eve ate the fruit, offered Adam some, and then before she knew it, they were kicked out of Eden wearing clothes.  Letting temptation get the best of us is not a good thing--and God most likely would not appreciate food being stolen from his table.  We would rather starve than risk our chances of going to Heaven.   

 

4 Comments

Maddie Gillespie said:

You make a very forceful argument. You write that temptation is bad, evil. But if there is no temptation, can there be any ambition? Those most religious would no doubt agree with your point of us knowing better than to reach towards God's table and steal his food right out from under him. However, why did Jack rob the Giant's golden goose or even take the beans to begin with? He wanted to help his family, albeit the beans didn't help out initially. You write that we would rather starve than risk our chances of going to Heaven, but do the rich starve their souls while the poor are the ones that cannot feed their children? I'm only playing the Devil's Advocate though, so please, don't go offering me a poisoned apple okay?

No worries Maddie. You won't be getting any poisoned apples from me, haha.
I should also note that when I wrote this analysis, I kinda put myself into the poem, therefore beginning to use "we" when referring to human beings. My beliefs outside of this poem are actually more closely related to those that you commented on in your response to my entry. I completely support ambition; I just simply put myself into the poem and made an analysis from there.

Ally Hall said:

Maybe it's because I'm not a very religious person, but I never really seem to understand all the religious connections in anything. But I very much appreciate you for bringing up the idea of Adam and Eve (even I know that story. =]) and temptation. I agree that sometimes people do take it a bit too far and never take that extra slice of whatever it is that they really want, for fear of being punished in the after life. Sometimes, though, I think we do have to take time to really enjoy life, or else, why were we living?

Richelle Dodaro said:

I thought this idea of Adam and Eve was very insightful and it reminded me that I need to think even more analytically. This blog was very interesting and I really appreciated her connection.

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