Edwin S. Fussel: On "The Tree in Pamela's Garden"

But more usually the Tree of Knowledge accounts for Robinson's interest, and once more in "The Tree in Pamela's Garden" he uses it symbolically. Again the symbolism starts in the title, and, in spite of a degree of implicitness rare even in Robinson, its associations control the poem's meaning very basically. A brief reference to Eve, and the fact that the poem turns on the opposition between two levels of knowledge and understanding, calls attention to this central symbol, and serves to recall the meaning Robinson had imposed upon it as early as "Llewellyn and the Tree." From Robinson's preoccupation with this one aspect it may be surmised that theological and philosophical implications concerning the nature of man were of less direct importance in his reading of the Genesis story than its usefulness in manipulating situations involving knowledge and ignorance, though it is also true that Robinson began to use the story skillfully only after he had modified his earlier uncritical assumptions about the divinity of man.


Criticism Overview
Title Edwin S. Fussel: On "The Tree in Pamela's Garden" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Edwin S. Fussel Criticism Target Edwin Arlington Robinson
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 23 May 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Edwin Arlington Robinson: The Literary Background of a Traditional Poet
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