If I have to pick my favorite idea/element from James Baldwin’s work, I would say it is the Garden of Eden. I indeed looked up Garden of Eden on google and read a lot of information on the story and the meaning behind it. Interestingly, I grew up going to a catholic school, yet I do not remember anything from the bible even though I spent hours and hours listening to stories of it. I still remember rereading that paragraph from Giovanni’s Room, “Perhaps everybody has a Garden of Eden, I don’t know; but they have scarcely seen their garden before they see the flaming sword. Then, perhaps, life only offers the choice of remembering the garden or forgetting it. Either, or; it takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both. People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare.”, because I could not understand the meaning behind it. I couldn’t fully understand yet I saw how beautifully it was written and felt the depth underneath the words. It might not be exactly what James Baldwin would like to express, but I came to a thought that everyone has their Garden of Eden because everyone has their own definition of happiness and innocence. Garden of Eden is said to be a symbol of a place with perfect harmony and innocence. Just based on the definition of it, we should already know that such place does not exist. Even kids might not be completely innocent and not aware of right or wrong. Perhaps Garden of Eden is just a set of unreachable standard that people came up with when they have so much struggles and pain in real life. David told his story as if there were so many barriers between him and his true self, as if being himself is a sin. I personally believe the biggest barriers of all was his own mindset that was trapping him in his pain and struggles.