Somewhere in the nucleus of The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown’s bestseller that sold like hotcakes, there is this cryptic personified metaphor waiting to be decoded: “A rosy flesh with a seeded womb…” No, it wasn’t a person. Surprisingly enough, it was none other than the apple, a fruit correlated with many a legend. For instance, here are a few (both fact and fiction).
- The Forbidden Fruit
The Book of Genesis, in its sophomore chapter and ninth verse, ascribes the apple tree as being “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. And shortly after, we find the first beings to grace (and later disgrace) the earth being deftly convinced by a reptile to sink their teeth into its flesh. Certainly enough they did and all hell—no heaven—broke loose after our first parents confessed and accused each other like criminals.
- An Elixir of Perpetual Youth
The name Iðunn (pronounced I-dun) probably rings no bell unless you’re a devotee of the Norse gods, an avid researcher or otherwise. Iðunn kept her personal effects (the apples, of course) in a box crafted out of ash wood and when the gods were plagued with wrinkles and teeth that threatened to abandon their mouths any minute, Iðunn would provide an apple into which they’d have to bite (and don’t ask me about the toothless ones) and their beauty would be magically restored.
- Golden apple-picking
Greek women are eye candy, but this one’s as fierce as a lion and as fast as a cheetah, but natheless, Atalanta was the proverbial apple of every man’s eye. This beauty apparently wanted to run away from—or forego—marriage as she visualized it to be a bad omen. However, no woman can live sans a man for too long, so she caved in, but like every typical woman, she laid down her condition: to have Mr. Right beat her in a race. Many saw the end of their life long before they saw the finish line, but there was one so wise (called Melanion) to invoke Aphrodite. A trio of golden apples did she give him to dispense along the way to sidetrack the apple-lover, and rightly enough, it worked! (Three cheers for Aphrodite!) So, we come to understand that a woman’s love for all things sparkly is not a twentieth century craze after all. Melanion did win the race and not to mention, Atalanta’s hand. It’s bad enough having to compete with the men, so I can’t imagine how emasculating it must feel to compete with the woman herself.
- This One’s for Your Head
Once upon a fine day under a tree (can you guess which one?) sat a man with white hair that caressed his shoulders, but that’s not important. Let me get to the point here. Although the interpretations of this incident vary, here’s how I see it. A man christened Isaac Newton (my apologies for excluding the Sir) had the privilege of being struck on the head by the “perpendicular descent” of a fruit from the forbidden tree. The apple probably hit the thinking button atop his head because he (thanks to the apple again) postulated the law of gravity that revolutionized physics. That little red apple surely set the wheels of his mind into motion, didn’t it?