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Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts - Papers

1998

Gardens

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Cultivating Empire: The Gardens Women Write, Dorothy L. Jones Jan 1998

Cultivating Empire: The Gardens Women Write, Dorothy L. Jones

Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts - Papers

Western culture invests gardens with powerful, if ambivalent symbolism. They invite us to commune with nature while delighting in how human hands have guided and controlled it. The Old Testament locates the origin of human life in a garden which simultaneously represents paradise and paradise lost. Paradise, whether on earth or in heaven, is, in Christian tradition, frequently represented as a walled garden with hardship and evil fenced out. But this is a double-sided image invoking both sexual wantonness and chastity, for gardens are also associated with the beauty and desirability of the female body. Because Eve's seductiveness was ...