The Adam and Eve myth has long captured the attention of Christian and non-Christian minds alike. Tropes of paradise, serpents, fruit, and fallenness appear in works such as Milton’s Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Emily Dickenson’s “Awake ye Muses Nine,” Walt Whitman’s “Great are the Myths” and Joyce Kilmer’s “The Snowman in the Yard.” Religious commentary on Adam and Eve is equally pervasive; most notably the theology of St. Augustine whose work may well be considered the most influential in Western Christianity. Even though a story as old as this one may not seem relevant in a first-world culture where newness is both expected and valued, the legacy of the Adam and Eve myth has not diminished. Linda Shearing writes, “Whether they realize it or not, Americans spend a great deal of time negotiating their world with Adam and Eve” (Schearing 3). To test Shearing’s assertion, this essay seeks to illuminate the ways in which Americans negotiate Adam, Eve, and Eden in political rhetoric and how assumptions of marriage, family, labor, sacrifice, fallenness, redemption and morality are used by political leaders as a persuasive appeal to encourage their audiences to join with them in recovering a state of purity and innocence.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bullock, Katie, "A Conceptual Analysis of the Adam and Eve Myth and Its Manifestation in Political Rhetoric" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8392.
Political Rhetoric, Conceptual Analysis, Adam, Eve, Eden