The Scarlet Letter

The Garden of Eden in America: Dichotomies in The Scarlet Letter

The story of Adam and Eve illustrates the sinful nature of man. A common theory about the story of Adam and Eve is that God intended Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. The argument is, if God had not intended Adam to eat the apple, He would not have put the tree there in the first place. It was not the serpent that tempted Eve, but God. The serpent urged Eve to give into temptation, but it was God who created the temptation. The duality in God's action is obvious. Had God created a paradise without temptation, the serpent would have had no sin to urge Eve to commit. Therefore, had God not created that temptation, the serpent essentially would have no purpose. So, God not only created the temptation, but, in so doing, created a purpose for the serpent, and assuming that the serpent would not have existed had he no purpose, created the serpent as well. Not only was the God necessary to the serpent's existence, but the serpent was also necessary to God's existence. Without the presence of evil, the presence of good has no meaning, and vice versa.

The Puritans, as presented in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, create a serpent by denying all human ties to nature and to sin when they attempt to...

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