Jean Jacques Rousseau 's ' The Garden Of Eden ' Essay

1558 Words Nov 19th, 2016 7 Pages
Curiosity: is it sinful? This question has been examined by painters such as Thomas Cole and philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who came to believe that curiosity, dating back to the Garden of Eden, leads to the destruction of both individuals and entire empires. In the Garden of Eden, the first humans, Adam and Eve, were placed on Earth by God to be the beginning of mankind. While the Tree of Life nurtured the two, Eve remained curious about the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. This curiosity eventually led Eve to disobey God and eat the fruit. For her transgression, God exiled Eve from the Garden of Eden with this mistake being the eventual cause of her death. Before Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, humans were immortal, but because of her disobedience, God punished her by introducing death into the world. Similarly, scholars have posited that empires too fall from a desire for knowledge. In particular, Rousseau mentions the Egyptians and the Romans. However, the Egyptians already had a thirst for knowledge before their empire was established and the Roman empire didn’t have the Edenic beginning that Adam and Eve had, meaning they didn’t have the same fall from grace that the first humans did.
Thomas Cole’s painting, Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, depicts as much. The ruins in the painting come from the end of the story of Adam and Eve, God punishing Eve for eating the forbidden fruit and taking them to destruction. Also depicted is the beginning…

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