From these rigid perspectives, Eve is one-dimensional: inherently wicked and an afterthought to Adam. Yet across popular culture and the history of art, Eve appears as a paradox. She is guileful and naive, earth mother and fatal seductress; she is the problem of man, his downfall, his eternal scapegoat.
Such depictions have structured our ideas of beauty, gender, and morality. The oldest conceptions of Eve play out again and again in all reaches of contemporary culture. A judiciously placed apple in a woman’s hand in art, advertising, or film can immediately invoke Eve’s devious sexuality, and still other references abound. The Handmaid’s Tale (2017–ongoing), adapted by Hulu from Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, features a young, religious character named Eden, who is expected to help repopulate the country. By the same token, in Pixar’s animated children’s movie WALL-E (2008), the title robot meets a fellow android who has come to bring new human life to Earth. Her name? EVE.