The above title is taken from the thirty sixth chapter of the classic novel Villette by Charlotte Bronte and is partially derived from the Greek Mythology story, Judgement of Paris, where the Golden Apple of Discord precipitates the Trojan War. As a reader who prefers to allow a classic novel to speak for itself without the aid of commentary, it is tempting to believe that Bronte also meant the Apple of Discord to reference the apple that tempted Eve.
The conflicted relationship between Villette’s two main characters, Protestant Lucy Snowe and Catholic M. Paul Emmanuel, personifies the discord between Protestantism and Catholicism and the contrast between steadfast humble belief and obligatory legalistic fervor. They are Eve and Adam who corrupt their naked innocent trust by tasting knowledge beyond what God intended. Lucy Snowe refers to the inducing argument in favor of the pomp and glory of Rome as the “third temptation” to which she responds that as Protestants we “…kept fewer forms between us and God; retaining, indeed, no more than, perhaps, the nature of mankind in the mass rendered necessary for due observance.” Lucy explains to M. Emmanuel that “…the guide to which I looked, and the teacher which I owned, must always be the Bible itself, rather than any sect, of whatever name or nation.”
These two believers, removed from their individual religious influences, were able to reach accord by returning to the uncontested foundation of their faith which Lucy illustrates in her declaration to M. Paul, “…you believe in God and Christ and the Bible, and so do I.” — Marian K