Original Sin

original sin

Original Sin, 2016, © Tennille Goff

I belong to a small, local photo club, which I dearly love because it keeps me shooting. As a collective group of photographers, we take turns setting an assignment of the month for each of us to shoot, post, and critique. January 2016’s assignment was to capture one or more of the seven deadly sins.

Having graduated from school with a masters in English, I’m no stranger to the sins. They permeate literature. Chaucer’s “Parsons’ Tale,” Dante’s Inferno, Nabokov’s Lolita, Shakespeare’s Othello, and even Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, are just a handful of examples of stories in which characters struggle with one or more of the sins that serve as the root of all human vices.

So for this month’s photo assignment, what started as my attempt to create a photo on gluttony slowly morphed into something bigger, a story that encapsulates all sins: the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Eve has always fascinated me. According to Biblical history, she literally holds the fate of all humanity in her hand, as she is tempted and eventually submits to the gluttonous act of eating from the Tree of Life. Through her act of gluttony (submitting to her desire to consume more than she required), she symbolically submits to pride (excessive belief in one’s own abilities), envy (desire for others’ traits/abilities), lust (cravings of the body), greed (desire for material wealth/gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual), sloth (avoidance of physical or spiritual work), and thus she invokes God’s wrath (love spurned to fury).

Oh Eve! Look what you’ve done.



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