Chomping on Apples

In “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003), the apple that Captain Sparrow bites in front of Barbosa does not serve alimentary purposes. This is done to humiliate the pirate because he is not able to taste any food due to his curse. This apple is, in a way, wasted food after one bite because Barbosa throws it away. However, Barbosa carries an apple with him to eat once the malediction is over. The movie ends with the uneaten (wasted) apple falling from his dying hand, but it appears again in the next movie, “Dead Man’s Chest” (2006), when he finally chomps on it with arrogance. An apple is a cinematic device to show the audience that the eater in question is an overconfident villain, a maverick badass or an arrogant person. Examples of this are Draco Malfoy in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004), Jerry Dandrige in “Fright Night” (2011), or Ajax in “Deadpool” (2016). The trope of the bad guy eating an apple has been pointed out in movie analyses, but it would be more interesting to explore the idea of wasted food, apples being the favorite food characters bite only once and then throw them away. Lex Luthor does it in “Smallville” (S01E02), and also Professor Colan in “Transformers: The Revenge of the Fallen” (2009). Is there a consequential reason for this beyond the mere trope?

  • Hi T. Palomino--I think this is a super interesting topic that I had never considered before, thank you for bringing it up! The first two stories that come to mind for me with characters biting apples in stories are actually of the victim (supposedly) biting the apple rather than the villain: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and Snow White in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." In both of these cases, rather than the villain or the arrogant character biting into an apple, the story has the "innocent character" doing so. Also in these two stories, the apple itself is the poison, although both are delivered by a villain as well (the Evil Queen and Satan in the form of a snake). For Snow White, the apple literally poisons her, as offered by the Evil Queen in disguise and for Adam and Eve, biting the apple from the tree of All Knowledge of Good and Evil, gives them knowledge that causes a rift between them and God, and ultimately leads to their exile from the Garden of Eden. I wonder if moving beyond these stories where the apple itself was a device for evil led to the apple-biting phenomenon you brought up, where the apple is no longer evil but instead the person biting it. I hope this helps with your writing! – jamiiiiiiierose 6 months ago
  • It could be intriguing to inquire as to why an apple was chosen above anything else, any other fruit... Is there any historical, philosophical, moral, or other justification for this? Or is it only a practical issue in relation to other fruits, such as bananas? Also, it may be a good idea to think about the stories behind the "Apple Inc." Logo (An apple with one bite taken out of it.) Is there anything in the designer or film directors' imagination background that they have in common? – Samer Darwich 6 months ago

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