"Eve's Diary" Characters
The main characters in “Eve’s Diary” are Eve and Adam.
- Eve is the first woman and the narrator of most of the story. She is intelligent, curious, and brave, and a devoted caretaker and investigator of the natural world. By the end of the story, however, her relationship with Adam has taken a toll on her self-confidence.
- Adam is the first man and acts as a secondary narrator. He is attracted to but dismissive of Eve, who loves him in spite of his shortcomings, and fails to fully appreciate either her or the beauty of Eden until both are gone.
Eve, the titular character, originally appears in the Biblical story of Genesis. In Genesis 2:18, it is recorded that “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ ” After looking throughout creation for an appropriate helper, God decides to create a new human and accomplishes this by removing one of Adam’s ribs and constructing the first woman from that rib. Eve is thus created, and in the following chapter, she is persuaded by a serpent to ignore God’s instructions forbidding her from eating fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden. After being tempted by the serpent and eating the fruit, she also “gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:6). This presages the fall of mankind, when God ejects both Adam and Eve from their life of comfort in the Garden of Eden and punishes them for their disobedience, effectively punishing mankind for eternity for its sinful nature.
Twain’s short story gives Eve a voice and creates a context for the moments following her creation, when she faces an unknown world and tries to make sense of it all. From the beginning, Eve establishes herself as a critical thinker through the commentary in her diary entries. While she may not understand the laws of astronomy, she generates her own theories and is quick to reevaluate those theories when provided with conflicting information. She immediately recognizes her place in some kind of experiment and is driven to perform well. Eve is bold and confident, emotionally and physically. When first encountering Adam, she isn’t sure what type of creature he might be, and when she finds him attempting to catch fish, she bravely pelts him with dirt clots until he leaves them alone. Eve is a caretaker of the world, from the “little speckled fishes” to the elephants. She handles creation with a delicate and appreciative hand, always acknowledging the wonder and artistry in nature. Though she longs for a deeper connection with Adam, she doesn’t allow his rejection to define her in those early days. She maintains steady perseverance and even discovers fire, though Adam doesn’t appreciate the significance of her discovery.
This initial portrait of Eve is compelling. It presents her as both desperately in search of Adam’s affections and strongly confident in her own abilities. After forty years, however, Eve’s sense of steadiness seems to have faltered, as she reflects that she cannot “endure” a life without Adam. Though she proves herself capable of exactly that in the days following her creation, a life of dependency on Adam eventually shakes her sense of tenacity. Eve seems to recognize the price of her dependency and concludes her story by remarking that her own desire not to outlive her husband “will not cease from being offered up while my race continues.” Ultimately, her need for companionship establishes a precedent that she believes all women are destined to follow and that even “in the last wife,” this same need will persist. In her quest to fulfill a longing for companionship, Eve sacrifices her own identity, becoming a shell of the woman she was when first created.
In the story found in Genesis, Adam is the first human whom God creates. Realizing that man needs a sense of...
(The entire section contains 928 words.)
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