In the beginning of time a serpent slithered through a garden as he notices a soft nude woman walking alone. The serpent comes up behind her and tells the beautiful woman of the apple from a sacred tree that will make her as all knowing and powerful as god. Although god had told this woman to never eat from this sacred tree, she was convinced by the evil snake. After convincing her male companion they both eat the sacred apple and immediately are awaken as their eyes open wide. That very instant they, for the first time in human history, become aware of their physical self; the birth of self hatred of the human form had emerged.
Soon after God exiled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and dammed their ancestors. Today a young girl stands in front of a mirror disgusted by what is been reflected upon her. This girls struggle against the disease her primordial ancestor had given her is depicted in Eavan Boland’s poem “Anorexia. ” As Boland begins her own demise she is envisioned with the beginning of time where man had not yet fallen and self awareness had not been created; a vision that will consume her to do whatever it takes to go back to Eden.
As the speaker stares at the mirror she is consumed with negative thoughts in her mind. She begins to believe her “flesh is heretic”(line 1) as her body is rejecting her ideal thought of what she wants it to be. Her flesh begins to play tricks on her as it “Meshed [her] head / in the half-truths”(7-8). Her flesh becomes “a witch”(2) using tricks to control the girl from not eating. To cure this manipulative disease she is to destroy her exterior. In the following lines the speaker becomes much more explicit in how she is to cure herself:
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I am burning it Yes I am torching Her curves and peps and wiles They scratch in my self denial Here it shows how she is starving herself by burning away whatever fat remains from her fragile bones that are protruding from her skin as she now becomes “starved and curveless”(16). Boland begins a slow and painful suicide to bring an end to her disease. Boland falls sleep and enters a vivid dark dream which reveals to her the beginning of her disease. In this vibrant dream she in trapped inside a place she describes as “a claustrophobia”(22).
In this “sensuous enclosure”(23) she hears the “warm drum”(25) beat of a man’s heart and the “song of his breath”(26). “Sleeping in his side”(27) she is “a rib”(19). Boland has regressed back to the beginning of time before the sins of Eve when she was only one rib of Adam. In this dream she discovers what she needs to do to get ride of her disease. She wants to return back inside the womb of Adam. To return to Eden were life was blessed with no self-awareness, and no anorexia. She hopes to erase Eve’s mistake of the past and not eat the scared fruit.
She will finally be able to live a life without self awareness and end the struggle that has consumed herself against her own flesh. Boland will finally “grow / angular and holy”(35-36) again. After she is awakened she is obsessed with returning back to Adam and the Garden of Eden to finally be filled with bliss. Returning to Eden “will make me forget”(40), forget “the fall”(42) she proclaimed. She will forget the fall of mankind and the creation of the disease that has destroyed her from within.
She wants to also forget the hell of what is anorexia as she goes “into forked dark / into [the] python needs”(43-44). Sadly the only way she can possibly reach the gates of Eden would be through suicide which she has already begun. “Only a little more”(28) she says, “only a few more days”(29) until she is dead and can be “back into him again”(32). It is unknown what happens to the girl next, all we are certain off is that the disease of anorexia had beaten her to nearing or even committing suicide. The “witch” was able to trick her to figuratively burn herself alive in agony and pain.
In the mist of all this, her lack of nutrition caused her to hallucinate of the beginning of time when Humanity was only one being, a time when there was no self awareness and no anorexia, a time when man had not yet fallen. This vision that continues to consume her was merely an illusion from the witch and the serpent. All it was was a mere trick to convince her to committee suicide and break god’s major law. Killing herself to return back to Eden will come to no prevail as suicide will only lead her to an eternity in the depths of hell with the serpent, an eternity of living with anorexia.
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The Curse of the Sacred Fruit. (2017, Mar 30). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/the-curse-of-the-sacred-fruit/