The Core of Each Story
The point of the story of Eve in Geneisis is not to convey that women are at fault for sin in the world, but alienation from Yahweh causes disharmony in earthly associations. In the book, Seeing the World and Knowing God, Paul Fiddes states, “On the other hand there is the ‘tragic symbol’ where there is a clash between innocent suffering and a God who is meant to maintain the ethical order of the universe…it becomes possible to turn the accusation back against God, against the ethical God of the accusation” (page 77). This means, although the ancestors did not commit the original sin, every generation still suffers the consequences of the action.Fiddes argument supports the theory of a just God, implying he has an ethical duty to keep structure in the world he created. This is a way of rationalizing why bad things happen to people, such as a healthy person getting cancer.
The myth of Pandora is to be no more than “an anti-feminist fable, probably of his (Hesiod’s) own invention”, according to Robert Graves, an English poet and historical novelist. Hesiod was most likely influenced by Homer, an epic Greek poet, who wrote the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, women have a bad reputation because the soul of Agamemnon states that Clytemnestra, who killed him by stabbing him, said: “A bad name she gave to womankind, even to the best.” Unlike the original gender neutral Adam and Eve story, Pandora’s myth has always been skewed in favor of men since it’s conception. Hesiod ends the poem by saying “This was the origin of damnable womankind, a plague with which men must live.”
The overall message Hesiod was trying to convey was that women are dangerous because their evil actions are a divine imposed fate instead of a free-willed choice. This theme then persisted throughout the centuries in Greek culture, as this story was ingrained into the education of the youth, therefore formulating a bias against women. It was as far as influencing other cultures of the time.
Pandora in Ancient and Pop-Culture
Greek myths were recognized outside of the culture by people such as Plato and Aristotle, who commented on hope influencing the virtue of courage and it’s important to humanity. The most evidence of Hellenization infiltrating Jewish culture was when Palestine was under Greek influence. The best example of this in the Hebrew Bible: “I found something more butter than death-woman. The love she offers you will catch you like a trap or like a net; and her arms around you will hold you like a chain. A mean who pleases God will get away, but she will catch the sinner.” (Ecclesiastes 7:26).
When referring to Pandora’s box in conversation, “doing that would be like opening Pandora’s box”, is a metaphor for an innocent action or event causing unforeseen and uncontrollable chaos. Another pop-culture example is the book series turned movie series geared towards children, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, is a story about the Greek God’s and their half-blooded children.
In 2009, a movie called The Box, paralleled the story of Pandora. This movie, starring Cameron Diaz, three different families were presented with a box. If the family chose to press the button on the box, they receive one million dollars, but the catch was that someone somewhere in the world would die. In every instance when the button is pushed, it is done so by a woman, and she is therefore held responsible for someone’s death.
Adam and Eve in Pop-Culture
Adam and Eve in Pop-Culture
A very popular example of this is the movie WALL-E, who was the last robot on earth. In addition to this pop-culture reference, there are many others such as the Twilight zone episode where are Adam Cook and Eve Norda are the first people to settle the planet they name earth. Modern geneticists traced our most recent matrilineal and patrilineal common ancestors, naming them Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam. In C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, boys are called “sons of Adam” and girls are called “daughters of Eve.” Another widely known spoof of Adam and Eve is an organic apple juice company called “Apple and Eve.”