In Miltons’ “Paradise Lost” we hear the story of Adam and Eve and I wanted to talk about Dan’s post on the idea that maybe they hint towards wanting children. In Dan Harrison’s post titled “Question for Nov. 17”, he says: “It seems odd that, in this paradise, the workload would be too great. I wonder why Milton chose to include this specific gripe and how that may affect our reading of the story.” I love this question and the idea of if they were supposed to avoid the act of procreation, why would God give them so much work? I feel like this just draws attention to multiple tests that they seem to have to go through. Could they complete the work? Will they fall into temptation? A test of human nature maybe? In Paradise Lost, it says
“This Garden, still to tend Plant, Herb and Flour,
Our pleasant task enjoyn’d, but till more hands
Aid us, the work under our labour grows,
Luxurious by restraint; what we by day
Lop overgrown, or prune, or prop, or bind, [ 210 ]
One night or two with wanton growth derides
Tending to wilde.” (Milton, 9. 206-212).
The work required is obviously too much for two people, so it is really interesting to think about the different reasons or explanations for why God did this. Religion, while I personally am not religious, has always been something that has interested me. And the amount of opinions and theories on things like this have always been very thought provoking. The question of just “why?” Why couldn’t they have kids if it was for help? Why were so many tasks assigned? Why only two people? Like, no matter what you can always just keep asking why and that is how I feel about the topic of religion. I could just ask “why?” forever and probably get a different response each time!