I need to write an abstract about Eve's thirst for power in the Garden of Eden in John Milton's Paradise Lost. How does it affect the Lost Generation?

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John Milton wrote Paradise Lost as a means of filling...

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Thank you for contributing to eNotes. Note that educators are not responsible for completing your assignment and only provide insight. In the case of an abstract, I can provide key points to guide your own thesis, contextual analysis, and conclusion.

John Milton wrote Paradise Lost as a means of filling in the missing elements of the Genesis narrative, the first book of the Hebrew Bible. The poem begins following Satan and other rebel angels having been banished to Hell. God then creates the world, the final act being the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. God gives Adam and Eve total freedom to rule over creation, with one crucial command: that they not eat from the Tree of Knowledge, which provides awareness of good and evil.

The story is conveyed by an omniscient narrator, following Satan as well as Adam and Eve. Satan plots to corrupt the goodness of Adam and Eve by first convincing Eve through manipulative rhetoric. This rhetoric encourages Eve's "thirst for power" that you refer to, conveying the first woman as intellectually inferior to Adam, lustful, and vulnerable to temptation. Adam learns that Eve has sinned, and as he feels bound to her, he commits the same sin in order to share her fate. This conception of the first woman, and by extension all of Eve's female ancestors, reflects a perspective accepted by European society and culture for centuries to come.

The "lost generation" that you refer to can be interpreted as the loss of innocence and goodness experienced by the first man and woman. Adam and Eve would go on to further the human race to possess the same combination of good and evil. Immediately after eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve experience guilt and shame, foreshadowing the seven deadly sins of all humans referred to in Christian teachings.

After God learns of the sins of Adam and Eve, they are banished from the Garden of Eden (the title Paradise Lost being a reference to this event). Adam and Eve seek reconciliation for their actions, and Adam is provided foresight from the Archangel Michael. The divine being shares knowledge of the Great Flood, God's divine act to cleanse the earth of wickedness, as well as Jesus's eventual sacrifice to redeem mankind from the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. While Paradise Lost is a speculative interpretation of the Book of Genesis, it clearly provides foreshadowing of events progressing into the New Testament.

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