The Stealing of the Apple

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The image above is taken from the book Confessions, by the philosophe Jean-Jacques Rousseau from the later enlightenment. In this book Rousseau wrote his autobiography, which was later translated from French to English.

Though I lost time by this experiment, I did not lose courage, but, dreading a surprise, I put off the attempt till next day, when I hoped to be more successful, and returned to my work as if nothing had happened, without once thinking of what the two obvious witnesses I had left in the pantry deposed against me.

The next day (a fine opportunity offering) I renew the trial. I fasten the spits together; get on the stool; take aim; am just going to dart at my prey—unfortunately the dragon did not sleep; the pantry door opens, my master makes his appearance, and, looking up, exclaims, “Bravo!”—The horror of that moment returns—the pen drops from my hand.

A continual repetition of ill treatment rendered me callous; it seemed a kind of composition for my crimes, which authorized me to continue them, and, instead of looking back at the punishment, I looked forward to revenge. Being beat like a slave, I judged I had a right to all the vices of one. I was convinced that to rob and be punished were inseparable, and constituted, if I may so express myself, a kind of traffic, in which, if I perform my part of the bargain, my master would take care not to be deficient in his; that preliminary settled, I applied myself to thieving with great tranquility, and whenever this interrogatory occurred to my mind, “What will be the consequence?” the reply was ready, “I know the worst, I shall be beat; no matter, I was made for it.”

This is an excerpt from his book which is the story of him trying to steal an apple. Rousseau was a curious man, and his philosophical findings made a large impact on a vast majority of the world. His curiosity is reflected in this story. He had always been stealing things, not only as a child, but also as an adult. This wasn’t out of poverty, but for his undying sense of adventure. Despite the consequences, he took the chance and shaped his childhood. He also put a strong emphasis on childhood and to not restrict a child’s instincts. He said we should foster their impulses and their education of the world, which is shown in this story. Which is also why I chose this story.

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