Reading Response Extracts from the Diaries of Adam and Eve by Marc Twain

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“Extracts from the Diaries of Adam and Eve” by Marc twain is a short story written in the style of diaries. Here, Marc Twain explores what it could have been like for two very different people to discover the odd world around them. He gave Adam and Eve personalities and showed a new version of Biblical events. The story starts with Adam’s diaries but the main part is about Eve’s diary from her creation up to her burial including meeting and getting to know Adam and exploring the world around them, Eden. The Theme discuses the battle of sexes. Adam and Eve play out the traditional, stereotypical role of a man and a woman. Adam’s diaries start with introducing the pronoun “we” (p 183) that announces the arrival of a new creature and a complete change in his life. Adam’s diaries are brief and Twain portrays Adam as a man who wants to do nothing but build, who would as soon sit around and do nothing and who is indifferent to Eve’s passions at first. Eve’s diaries form the biggest part of the extract. She uses the pronoun “I” a lot. She fancies herself as an “experiment” and thinks she is the main part of it. During her orientation, she coins arbitrary words for things with a confidence about their appropriateness. She is the more voluble, exhibiting a deeper sense of self-consciousness and aesthetic appreciation than Adam does. The chronological arrangements of the couple’s separate observations are humorous and highlight the tenderness with which Twain viewed innocence. For instance, when Adam is bewildered and angry about Eve’s compulsion to name everything she sees, she thinks that he is pleased and that she is preventing him from the embarrassment of not being very good at it. From Adam’s diaries: “The new creature names everything that comes along before I can get in a protest”(p 184), “it is a mere waywardness and imbecility”(p 184), “the naming goes recklessly…”(p 185)...
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