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Tuesday, July 15, 2014


ABC Wednesday

'A' is for Apple

Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and the Tree of knowledge

I love apples not only for their numerous health benefits but also for their resplendent hues, beautiful rotund looks, the feel of their firm juicy exterior, the crunchiness of every bite, their versatility in the culinary arena and their strong allusions in religious and mythical contexts.

This apart, apple’s prominent position in common idiomatic phraseology needs stating. Its inherent abilities make it so special that it is associated with elitism. In fact, no other fruit has been blessed with the enviable and intriguing epithet of ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Well, no other word could substitute apple for the idiom ‘apple of one’s eyes’- a person dearly loved.  You can upset some one’s ‘apple cart’ by spoiling his plans through some unsound intrusion. Things in your room are in perfect order only if they subscribe to ‘apple-pie order’.  Apple of discord’- something, which provokes trouble- refers to a Greek myth of ‘golden apple of discord’, which even caused a war.

The phrase ‘Adam’s apple’ means the ‘part that sticks out in front of the throat and moves up and down when one speaks.’  According to an ancient belief, this refers to a piece of the forbidden fruit, which was embedded in Adam’s throat.

Interestingly, every child gets to know about apple’s existence as early as in kindergarten itself, when the English lesson starts with the repeat chanting of A is for apple.

It is customary for Jewish communities to eat apple dipped in honey to welcome the sweet New Year.

However, my choice of the word ‘Apple’ is due to its most significant presence in the context of literature and legend. It is linked inextricably with man’s emergence on this earth. In ‘Genesis’, the first book of the Bible, apple is described as the fruit of temptation that lead to man’s fall from heaven.

The apple plays a seminal role in the story of Adam and Eve the first parents of all humankind, versified in John Milton’s epic poem “The Paradise lost” Book ix. It was the fruit of the apple tree, which caused an abrupt end to their idyllic living in the Garden of Eden. God’s gift to them. 

In fact, the dramatic elucidation of the episode, where unsuspecting Eve is beguiled by the sinister designs of Satan, in spite of Adam’s forewarning to Eve, is the game changer for creating a many splendored world order for man. It sets some stereotypes about women as well.   

It so happened that Satan 'evil incarnate' aka Lucifer, a wily serpent, was cast from heaven by Gods for his insubordination. He vowed revenge and planned to deceive God’s protégés Adam and Eve by using his crafty ways. In his several disguises, he watches their daily movements and strategies. Satan’s devilry was on the lookout for an opportunity, when Adam and Eve would decide to go about their daily chores separately. Then he would be able to entice innocent Eve in defying God’s orders.

He gets the chance soon enough. He seductively approaches Eve and wins her confidence by using his oily tongue to praise her beauty. Eve is so impressed by his clever talk that she inquires how has he  gained so much knowledge? He discloses that there is a tree of knowledge of good and evil and if its fruit is eaten, one becomes aware of new revelations. Eve insists on going their immediately, forgetting all about God’s directives and Adam’s advice- and tastes the fruit which is said to be the apple and later cajoles Adam to eat it too. To cut the story short both become conscious of their nakedness and want to hide themselves in shame. The rest  as they say is history

It is philosophized that God willed it that way. The fall of man was necessary. He wanted the man to be on his own, acquire the wisdom of the world, face the daunting challenges, procreate and inhabit the earth.

Ultimately, 'Apple' becomes a metaphor for justifying the ways of God to man.

Image courtesy: The Internet 
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  1. This is pretty neat and a clever way of describing things as well :). Take a bow :)

  2. Great post on prompt !! I specially like the idioms part.. as Eve upset the 'apple cart of God' by making Adam eat the apple !!

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  3. Lots of information about the simple yet Godly apple.

    abcw team

  4. An innovative way to establish your views for the prompt ...nicely penned...

  5. We have 3 apple trees in our garden - 2 were here when we arrived back in 1990 and the other one is a "Discovery" and was a wedding anniversary present from Jon's parents. Absolutely delicious. I am relying on my garden for inspiration throughout this round of ABC Wednesday - will be reading your contributions with great interest.
    Denise ABC Team

  6. I love apples, every day I eat at least 4 ! As they say "an apple per day keeps the doctor away !"
    ABC Wednesday Team

  7. coincidentally, I took an apple for lunch!

  8. Apt indeed...lots to munch over in this post♪

  9. Well written - a good interpretation of the place the apple has in history.