Paradise abused: How advertising manipulates Miltonic creation myth iconography

John F Adams, University of Texas at El Paso


Advertising is a genre that frequently makes use of accepted commonplaces. In many cases those commonplaces refer to mythic ideas and symbols. If as consumers we are willing to interpret advertised mythic symbols in and out of their contexts simultaneously then what is being assumed in the process? Several advertisements demonstrate that it is Milton's Eden Iconography from his retelling of Genesis in Paradise Lost that has been adopted as a retooled symbol set referring to both the Israelite creation myth and popular references for what ideas like knowledge, purity, and temptation mean. Close attention to specific advertisements for "Apple and Eve" juice products, Apple Computers, and Network Television sitcom "Desperate Housewives" reveals that a damaged discourse of morality and consumption remains when Milton's Eden symbols are re-contextualized. ^

Subject Area

Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Adams, John F, "Paradise abused: How advertising manipulates Miltonic creation myth iconography" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1435304.