22 September 2014
"Eve's Diary" by Mark Twain
"Eve's Diary" is a satirical account of the days in the Garden of Eden. Twain recounts the well-known tale of Genesis through a series of journal entries written by Adam and Eve; these personal accounts make for an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Twain's personifications of gender stereotypes are easily identified but lead the reader into a further exploration of Twain's deeper purpose. Twain's writing style explicates the paradoxical relationship between men and women. Furthermore, Adam and Eve's conflicting perspectives within the journal entries provide an illustration of their magnetic reliance on one another, despite their polar differences.
The story begins with Eve on the day after her creation; Twain creates a tone of despair as Eve ponders her situation and existence. "That is what I AM-an experiment; just an experiment, and nothing more" (Twain 10).
As Eve deducts that there must be a counterpart to her existence, her disposition abruptly changes from anguish to optimism. Through this character development, Twain portrays companionship as Eve's salvation and furthermore, mocks the modern idea of the contingency of a woman's survival on that of a man's. Eve's perception changes as abruptly as her disposition. Once her mind is at ease, she becomes conscious and appreciative of her surroundings. "This majestic new world is indeed a most noble and beautiful work. And certainly marvelously near to being perfect, notwithstanding the shortness of the time" (Twain 14). Twain uses Eve's passionate and enthusiastic mentality as a personification of the model of femininity according to nineteenth century stereotypes.
The diction and timing of Adam's introduction exaggerates Eve's naivety and sets a precedent for Twain's exploration of their paradoxical relationship. Eve's entry reads, "All the week I tagged around...