Theme: How would you compare Charlie's decision to have the surgery to Eve's acquisition of forbidden knowledge in the Garden of Eve? Neither Eve nor Charlie thought that their actions were evil,...

Theme: How would you compare Charlie's decision to have the surgery to Eve's acquisition of forbidden knowledge in the Garden of Eve?

Neither Eve nor Charlie thought that their actions were evil, so why the comparision to the forbidden fruit?

Expert Answers
merehughes eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Charlie and Eve were seeking knowledge. I think it is a very good analogy to compare the snake to the operation and Eve to Charlie.

I think the comparison would go in the direction that neither of them really knew what the consequences of their actions would be. Yes, Charlie was told that he would become smarter but he did not know what this would be like. He could not have imagined that he would eventually surpass 'normal' people and therefore become lonely and isolated with nothing but his intellect.

Similarly, Eve could not really know what the banishment from Eden really meant. You could compare her and Adam's separation from God to Charlie's separation from the rest of humanity.

Additionally, both Eve and Charlie were similarly handicapped in their decision making process. Eve could not have informed herself about what banishment from Eden would entail. Charlie because of the nature of his handicap could also not have made a more informed decision. Both of them had to rely on the evidence given to them by the snake and the doctors doing the surgery.

The apple and the surgery are both forbidden fruits in that they led to a separation of man from God or man from mankind.  In both cases, the apple is from God as is Charlie and to mess with either one is to oppose God. This is only one interpretation and an overwhelmingly Judeo-Christian reading of the story. There may be other interpretations.

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Flowers for Algernon

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