What "AllBeforeUs" Means: A New Approach to Agency

NAME: At the end of Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve get a humorless escort out of Eden. They give up permanent security but gain the agency to change things. We have given up the license to stay ignorant about the systems around us, but we can gain the skill to assess those systems and determine where to change them for public health’s sake. The end of the poem goes like this:


Wav'd over by that flaming Brand, the Gate

With dreadful Faces throng'd and fierie Armes:

Som natural tears they drop'd, but wip'd them soon; [ 645 ]

The World was all before them, where to choose

Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:

They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,

Through Eden took thir solitarie way.