In The Name of the Rose, what are some key symbols in Third Day and Fourth Day?
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One of the key events that is deeply symbolic in the Third Day is Adso's seduction at the hands of the nameless peasant girl. This is his first sexual experience, and he clearly defines it after the event as a sin that he must atone for. Yet, interestingly, the older Adso, looking back, has a slightly different perception of this youthful indiscretion:
Now, after years and years, while I still bitterly bemoan my error, I cannot forget how that evening I had felt great pleasure, and I would be doing a wrong to the Almightly, who created all things in goodness and beauty, if I did not admit that also between those two sinners something happened that in itself, naturaliter, was good and beautiful.
The symbolic significance of this event is clear. It both represents temptation and carnal desire, but also represents something of the way in which the teachings of the church constrain the pleasure that God gives to humans. Adso, in his old age, is able to look back and see his first and only sexual experience as being an "error," but also a gift of great pleasure that was representative of something "good and beautiful."
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