Go to contents

[Opinion] Contemplations on the Apple

Posted November. 14, 2004 23:22,   


Eve is humanity’s first “femme fatale.” The image of “femme fatale” or a siren who seduces and destroys men comes from the “Genesis” chapter of the Bible. Eve is tricked by the snake into eating the apple and even offers some to Adam. Adam hesitates with the apple held in his hand. To eat, or not to eat. Breaking the taboo of Eden and eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, this couple begins to realize the shame of nakedness, and the difference between good and evil, life and death. This was an eye-opening moment of recognition and the theory of original sin.

The apple is also an important symbol in the history of Mediterranean civilization. Eris, the spirit of strife, throws an apple to Zeus and orders him to “give the apple to the most beautiful woman.” A perplexed Zeus turns that responsibility to Paris, son of the Trojan king. Aphrodite suggests, “I will give you Helen, if you give me the apple.” With Aphrodite’s help, Paris kidnaps Helen, the Spartan queen. Homer’s “Iliad” is an epic about the war between the Greek fleet and Troy. Greece was able to build an absolute empire in the Mediterranean because it captured Troy, which was an important place for traffic between the east and west.

Newton’s apple cannot be left out when discussing apples. Newton believed the universe was one huge machine, and discovered the law of gravity in a falling apple. His theory was that universal gravitation is the force that makes an apple fall from a tree, makes the earth revolve around the sun, and prevents human beings from being thrown into outer space. The universe is filled with gravity instead of divinity. Having doubts about God lead to doubts about humanity. Are human beings nothing but thinking machines?

Cezanne denies Newton’s apple. By drawing still life paintings with apples in it, he expressed multilevel time and space caused by uncertainty. 15 years before Einstein’s theory of relativity, Cezanne drew on his canvas the appearance of nature that changes in a disordered way. Chaos and uncertainty that are symbolized by Cezanne’s apple are still valid topics in the 21st Century. The apple that chanced the history of human civilization. The apple is also a fruit that is good for the digestion process and prevents high blood pressure. This autumn, how about biting into a sweet apple and contemplating on how to make splendid apologies? These are thoughts that come to mind while watching the members of the National Assembly doing nothing but asking for the apologies of their opposition.

Kim Mi-jin, Guest Editorial Writer, Novelist, usedream@yahoo.com