Writing, Identity, & Queer Studies

In & Out, Either/Or, and Everything In Between

The Real Apple of Eve

“A long way round was a bright red flame. I knew it wasn’t Louise but I couldn’t take my eyes off the colour. It soothed me the way any bear will soothe a child not at home. It wasn’t mine but it was like mine. If I made my eyes into narrow slits the red took up the whole room. The dome was lit with red. I felt like a seed in a pomegranate. Some say that the pomegranate was the real apple of Eve, fruit of the womb, I would eat my way into perdition to taste you. ‘I love her what can I do?’” (91)

Just one day into the agreed upon three day intermission between Louise and the narrator causes a potent experience for our storyteller. The narrator’s passionate love for Louise is blended with the fear of her uncertain return. This combination intensifies the obsession that he/she has for her.

The “bright red flame” (91) that captures their attention could be any number of things. Whatever it is does not matter, but the color mirrors Louise’s hair. Even though it clearly isn’t Louise, the color is all it takes to pull the narrator into a blissful trance. The sight of this redness deeply comforts them. They compare this feeling of relaxation to the adoption and care of a lost child by wild animals. What sounds like a beautiful thing is actually quite the opposite. This rare phenomenon produces feral children that act in a manner that most would recognize as petrifying. Although, if one looks past the normal behaviors of modern society, and the disturbing thought of a wild child growling on all fours, then the idea of a human becoming one with nature surely is a soothing thing.

When the narrator claims that the flame “wasn’t mine but it was like mine” (91), they’re indicating Louise as part of them. They have absorbed Louise to the point where the color red electrifies their senses. To enhance the high, the narrator partially closes their eyes to fully absorb the view. By squinting the eyes, or making them into “narrow slits” (91), vision is given an arclike effect similar to a dome. This dome shaped viewing hole is enveloped in red. The sight is so captivating that it causes the narrator to feel as though he/she is a seed inside of a pomegranate. The redness of pomegranate seeds is both intense and alluring. Being one of some 600 seeds in a pomegranate would engulf the viewer in a deep sea of this rich red. A step is then taken away from the euphoria. As the narrator points out, it is not fully clear what fruit Adam and Eve bit into when they committed their ultimate sin, and it is true that “some say that the pomegranate was the real apple of Eve” (91). Their love runs so deep for Louise that they would willingly accept infinite damnation for a taste of her.

The quote at the end of the passage shows the narrator recognizing his/her obsession. He/she knows that his/her brain is blinded by love. Love has no boundaries, not even boundaries created by god. Real, unconditional love has the power to consume an individual, and the narrator knows that! What else can they do but let Louise swallow them whole?




  1. westcoastbesttoast

    September 24, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    In relation to the story of Adam and Eve, “the bright red flame” could also signify the narrator’s love for something that is forbidden (having an affair with a married individual). Similar to Eve being so consumed by the forbidden apple, the narrator is so consumed in the “bright red flame” and eventually acts on the temptation. But I wonder if this obsession with something “forbidden” (Eve’s apple, narrator’s “bright red flame” [Louise]) is considered love or if it is just for the satisfaction of obtaining something “forbidden”?

  2. paintstarsincolor

    September 27, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Pomegranates are typically connotated with passion and lust, the titillating red of its skin and seeds provoking sexual desire and arousal. In the book of Genesis, the serpent offered Eve a fruit of worldly knowledge, perhaps, if it was indeed a pomegranate, specifically of carnal pleasures and the shame that comes with it? In that case, God would have cast Adam and Eve from Heaven for knowing the pleasures of the flesh; therefore, casting shame on sex itself. As Eve is often depicted as the temptress who bewitched Adam into partaking of sin, could it be said that the Bible identifies sexual desire with disgrace and indignity

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