Eve Names The Animals The poem Eve Names the Animals, by Susan Donnelly is based upon the relationship of Adam and Eve. I think that there are a few possible themes to this poem. One possibility is that this poem is about the arbitrary naming of animals in the beginning of time. Another possibility is that this poem addresses Adam and Eves differing views that surround change. Eve questions the names of animals.
She sees that animals are named somewhat arbitrarily and sees a need for change in the names of creatures. The poem begins by describing a dove, but assigns the title lion to the creature. Next, a lion is described and assigned the title of Dove. Eve goes on to say that she believes that man, in this case Adam, never really knew animals. She claims that instead of focusing on the sound of the word or how one feels saying it, Adam he lined up words according to size and somewhat arbitrarily assigned names.
In lines 12 to 14, Eve expresses that Adam assigned a name to her. And this name stuck her to him. This seems forceful and almost dominating. Because it does not seem like Eve had any choice about it or chance to change it. I thought the title that Adam assigned to her must have been woman or wife.
I believe that he did this in order to establish a link between them. However the poem said that he did it to comfort Eve because she was not the first. It seems like Adam thought being linked to Eve would make her accept a secondary position in the world because Adam was created before Eve. Line 15 which says, “Mornings while he slept I got away” is particularly striking. This line expresses that Eve wanted to escape Adam; she wanted to have distance from him and not always be, “stuck to him.” In this stanza Eve goes on to say that Pickerels, a type fish, hopped on branches above her and spiders accompanied Eve on a walks, nosing everywhere, running up to lick her hands. These names of these animals are intentionally changed to prove her point, that names are not always accurate and more importantly are should not always be constant.
The descriptions given are really about a bird and a dog. In the next stanza Eve says, “poor finch. I suppose I was woe to himthe way hed come looking for me, not wanting either of us to ever be alone.” A Finch must be symbol for Adam and Eve must have disappointed him. Maybe her need to be alone disappointed Adam. He did not like the fact that she left him sleeping in the morning and got away.
It seems like the name Adam gave her was ineffective at alwayslinking her to him. This must have disappointed Adam, although he still wanted her companionship. Lines 26 to 29 say that Eve was a palomino, a raven, and a fox all at the same time. This seems to symbolize that she has many personalities and really leads us to a main conclusion. Eve likes change and variation and has personality that reflects this.
Eve strung words together as garland. She wore these words, or a metaphor for trying them out. The next day Id find them withered means that the meaning behind theses words no longer fit. But this was okay because eve liked change. This poem reflects Eves openness to change and separation, while expressing Adams animosity towards it.
Eve is more flexible in naming and bases it upon the sound of words and how it feels to say them On the other hand Adam uses length of a word to dictate the assignment of a creature to a title.