Fans of Adam Redux – Reconsidering Eve

Fans of Adam might want us to reconsider Eve and apologize for our insults and the violent trip we suggested they take over a waterfall. In anticipation of their desires, we will.

Apologies first. Eve was concerned for reckless Adam’s safety. She pressured him to stop going over a waterfall. Like Eve, we are non-violent. So we retract our suggestion that Fans of Adam go over a waterfall in a barrel like Adam did. As far as we are concerned, jumping in a lake is usually safe, so we will stick with that suggestion. Go jump in the lake.

As for our insult, were you to object, you would probably be referring to the ‘big baby’ charge we leveled against you. But if you objected to that, you would be too sensitive and thus deserving of the charge. Apology enough? We think so. We are living in your time of Trump, y’know.

As for reconsidering Eve, let’s pinpoint the objection. The matter in dispute is over which character, Eve or Adam, deserved top billing in the title of our book – “Mark Twain’s The Diaries of Eve and Adam”. Okay – let’s take a fresh look at that. Let’s reconsider Eve. Society, of which Fans of Adam belong whether they like it or not, started with Eve. Eve engages socially right away. She begins discovering creation and her relation to creation from her first moment of consciousness, and she knows right away she was made to love. Eve exhibits self-awareness; she both experiments and knows herself to be one very important experiment. In time she also learns she will be a timeless reference point for all generations. For the most part, she conducts herself accordingly.

How about Adam? He operates instinctively like the animals he lives among, animals he cannot name because he lacks the social interest and maybe the perceptual acuity for the task. But truth be told, Adam is more robotic than animal-like. The animals were entirely social before the fall. Adam is anti-social, at least to begin with. He even lacks the curiosity and gumption to engage with the flesh of his flesh. Adam knows Eve is in the park with him, but he does’t know and doesn’t care how she got there. He would rather she was some place else or no place at all.

The Waterfall

As long as we brought up the barrel and the waterfall in the earlier post, let’s examine that episode more closely to buttress our certainty that Eve deserves top billing. Eve, the social one, is concerned about Adam’s safety. She repeatedly presses him to protect himself from harm. Twain provides no indication that Eve has any selfish motive behind her concern. She has close relationships with all the other animals and wants a relationship with Adam, too. But she doesn’t need him, as far as she knows. So Eve acts selflessly in her concern for Adam’s safety. In this critically important way, Eve shows a fully human characteristic, right from the start.

Eve pressures Adam

Eve tells Adam not to be a fool.

The Brontosaurus

In contrast, Adam’s character develops slowly. He eventually does show concern for Eve’s safety. For instance, when Eve slides down the tail of the brontosaurus, Adam positions himself to catch Eve and protect her from injury. Did this act of chivalry get Adam all caught up to Eve when scoring human concern? No! Adam takes selfish credit for protecting Eve. Everything remains all about him at this stage of the story. He is the best (though only) man on the planet! At least in this, Adam, like Eve, seems to be a timeless reference point for the current generation.

Eve and Brontosaurus

Want to take a ride?

Okay, things do level out a bit at the very end. But the issue all along has been about which character deserves top-billing. Eve is the first to show decisive love, the pre-eminent trait that distinguishes humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. And in that trait, as far as Mark Twain is concerned, Eve is not only firstist, she is mostist. So we stand our ground. We won’t back down. Whenever the original pair is mentioned, Eve should always come before Adam. We trust Mark Twain.

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