chapter  6
24 Pages

Natural Man and the Fall

WithFrederick Turner

Epic is both an example of that questioning and a complex sort of answer. It is an answer in the form of story. The most direct and salient "deep allegory" of the answer is the persistent theme of the beast-man or natural man, and the story of how he is defeated by culture, falls into culture, or is seduced by culture, and looks back at his despoiled innocence with mixed feelings. The beast-man is the essential mythical being in epic's great narrative thought experiment. Human beings re-experience the Fall, the emergence of the human from the holy beast, every time we experience shame. The fall of natural man and loss of innocence is often associated with the taste of a drug, especially alcohol. Technology can be seen as either the gift of gods to humans with special qualities or a human cultural victory over nature.