Eve's Food Preparation: Art and Encounter in Eden

Eve's Food Preparation: Skill and Encounter in Eden

The arts in the first few before the Show up have been

extensively written about. It seems that most critics watch prelapsarian artwork

as congruous and normal to Eden, as evidence of prelapsarian splendor.

Ann Torday Gulden declares that skill in Eden is socially neutral: "Surely

art is usually innocuous [in Eden], an integral part of paradisal bliss" (18).

Indeed, Eve's artistic activity makes Eden seem all the more delightful

for the reader. Yet , with a cautious examination of how Eve's skill

is identified by the poem's male personas, it becomes apparent that

Eve's aesthetics usually do not quite match. It is tempting for the reader, who have

lives in a "fallen" community, so positively in favor of creative culture

to praise Eden for types of cultural activity within that. However

just about every example of Eve's artistic activity is seen as a an

aloofness from work discourse. The male authoritative characters of

Heaven Lost mainly ignore Eve's examples of talented artistry, giving

neither compliment nor disapproval. But while deficiency of recognition addresses

volumes about her low status, that allows her an extensive autonomy coming from

the divinely recognized settings of Edenic worship and devotion which will

serve to revere God. In the event the authoritative man characters consider her

creativity as insignificant, then there is almost no limit to the level

of autonomous creativity the lady can have got within that localized world of

artistry; no one is watching her or repairing her. The way in which

Eve works on food intended for the supper guest, the angel Raphael, is a prime

illustration of both Eve's removal from the divine task and her

expansion of any cultural, innovative realm through which she can easily act, instead of


The initial thing to recognize regarding the field of Raphael's arrival

to instruct Adam and Eve is that Eve is excluded from proximity for the

divine by simply Adam. To some degree, Adam in fact forces her removal.

The first to see Raphael coming can be Adam, certainly. He says:

Excitement hither, Event, and, really worth thy eyesight, behold

Eastward among the trees and shrubs what marvelous shape

Comes this way going; seems another morn

Gone up on mid-noon. Some great behest from Heaven

To all of us perhaps he brings, and definitely will vouchsafe

This very day to be our guest. Nevertheless go with velocity

And what thy stores contain bring forth, and pour

Large quantity fit to honour and receive

Our heavenly new person...

(5. 308)

Adam's vocabulary is unquestioning. It is crystal clear that this individual knows a guest

from Paradise is in the way. The velocity with which this individual recognizes that

the thing on the horizon is by Heaven implies that he has an intuitive

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