Crossing Into Eden Analysis

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Mankind will only survive by living with adversity, not with perfection. Humans seek success but true growth comes from the struggles faced obtaining it. Without the challenge, mankind and nature itself withers away in boredom and sterility. Humans, as with all organisms in nature, survive by adapting to challenge, not by the lack of them. The narrator in Wallace Stegner’s “Crossing Into Eden” finds that paradise is no place for humans because it is too perfect and does not offer the adversity mankind requires to exist. “Eden” can only exist without the presence of humans because humans belong away from perfection where struggle may be found.
A plant that is watered daily, soaked with sunshine, and kept locked away from the chance of abuse from the weather often grows weak and collapses in on itself. This occurs because the plant needs resistance. The wind and steady breeze
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Soon, the plant will have grown through the adversity the wind provided and found itself with strong, reinforced cell walls and sturdy roots. Mankind abides by the same principles. Humans will become bored with perfection. The narrator in “Crossing Into Eden” finds that fishing, a challenging process that requires great patience, is too easy. Instead of the thrill of the catch, he finds that “Perfection has destroyed sport.” (Stegner, p.39) Although at first the ease of catching fish is appealing, the narrator soon understands that humans require failure. There is no failing in this Paradise in which he is intruding. The narrator ponders whether there was “Any record of flycasting in Paradise?” to which the answer must surely be no (Stegner, p.39). Why would man need to fish, or even attempt to fish, when God and Paradise provided so readily whatever was needed? It is apparent that the challenge is encoded within human beings. Adam and Eve were removed from Paradise because although they were
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