Department or Program



Even as Paradise Lost imposes John Milton’s own values of gender roles to construct Eden, notably allocating the responsibilities of the feminized, bodily domestic sphere to Eve, while Adam is granted masculinized, intellectual labor, Eve manages to resist and trouble this gendered division. Mastering her role and making it her own, Eve finds solace and happiness within what I call her new “culinary world,” a sphere in which Eve conjoins labor to intellectual and emotional creation through the processes of food—including everything from harvesting, to preparation, to eating. The culinary world thus comes to encompass Eve’s agency, and she uses food-based skills to defend against Adam’s desire to overconsume her. I argue that Adam’s aggressive consumption of Eve and rigid dependence on constructing and upholding gender binaries not only leads Eve to seek out her own culinary world; it also informs her eventual choice to eat the apple in order to create a new foundation of equality in which she hosts the necessary skills to defend herself. Eating the apple provides Eve with the knowledge needed to ensure she is not overconsumed by Adam even beyond the space of Eden. In deconstructing gendered binaries, she goes beyond establishing a proficient defense mechanism and gains access to a world-making ability of her own. She succeeds.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Adkison, Katie

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 PDF file

Open Access

Available to all.