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Why does Marian hide the apple before going inside the old ladies' home in "A...

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melba | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 27, 2008 at 11:22 PM via web

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Why does Marian hide the apple before going inside the old ladies' home in "A Visit of Charity"?

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 29, 2008 at 3:13 AM (Answer #1)

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Marian hid the apple, because she did not want to have to share it with the old women in the home.  There is also a religious meaning in the symbol of the apple. 

The apple, the representation of man's fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, when Eve bit the apple and then offered it to Adam, is used to allude to Marian's sin at not bringing anything into the home with her.  She is indifferent to the suffering that goes on in the home and goes because she needs to earn credit as a Campfire Girl, but her intentions are not pure.

She does not like the environment, she keeps herself at an emotional distance from the residents and deprives them, not only of the apple that she hides, but of her full attention.  She offers no comfort, no love to these women, she does not view them as people.

"The old woman who desperately needs love, is constantly referred to as a sheep or a little lamb, the implication of Marian's bite into the apple is clear."

"She has refused to feed the sheep—literally by refusing to give the apple to Addie and symbolically by refusing to give her love."    

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