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After Apple Pickings

Topics: Garden of Eden, Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve, Adam, Bible, Paradise Lost / Pages: 2 (362 words) / Published: Apr 22nd, 2013
Poem: After Apple Pickings- Robert Frost

The Bible is never explicitly mentioned in this poem, but Frost nonetheless includes several references to well-known stories from the Book of Genesis. These are not specific allusions so much as commonplace ideas that help structure the poem. The story of Jacob's ladder and the Fall of Adam and Eve both seem to be on the speaker's mind. But many people are careful about interpreting what these references might "mean." There is surely no one right answer about their role in the poem. This is what I found in correlation to the bible.
In lines 1-2, the image of a ladder pointing toward heaven alludes to the story of Jacob's ladder in the Book of Genesis. When Jacob was escaping from his jealous brother Esau, he dreamed of a ladder going up to heaven that had angels climbing it. God was at the top of the ladder, and He told Jacob that and his descendants would be blessed. In line 9, the speaker's strange view of the world, even since that morning, is compared metaphorically to sleep or to some other physical object that is caught in his eye. But he cannot "rub" out the strangeness in the way that you can rub out sleep in the morning. In line 13, the speaker is thinking about items falling because he has been trying not to drop apples all day. But the combination of falling and fruit seems to allude to the Biblical Fall, in which Adam and Eve tasted the forbidden fruit and were therefore expelled from the Garden of Eden. At this point, we know that he is beginning to dream, which makes the connection to the story of Jacob's ladder even clearer, in lines 21-22. The apples that fell and hit the earth are symbols of sin and earthly corruption. They are treated "as of no worth," similar to how Adam and Eve were treated after they metaphorically "fell to earth" by tasting the forbidden fruit. It is important to note that Frost has sympathy for these corrupted apples, as if they represented all of humanity in lines 31-36.

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