Pandora: Additional Materials

The Pandora myth has inspired all kinds of storytellers and creators, especially the idea of Pandora’s Box as an irreversible error with grave consequences. One great use of the myth is in Sharon Creech’s young adult novel Walk Two Moons, which made a strong impression on me when I read it in fifth grade. After hearing the myth of Pandora in a school presentation, the protagonist contemplates it:

“That night I kept thinking about Pandora’s box. I wondered why someone would put a good thing such as Hope in a box with sickness and kidnapping and murder. It was fortunate that it was there, though. If not, people would have the birds of sadness nesting in their hair all the time, because of nuclear wars and the greenhouse effect and bombs and stabbings and lunatics. There must have been another box with all the good things in it, like sunshine and love and trees and all that. Who had the good fortune to open that one, and was there one bad thing down there in the bottom of the good box? Maybe it was Worry. Even when everything seems fine and good, I worry that something will go wrong and change everything.”

Pandora has also inspired many works of visual art, of which I’ve chosen just a few. During the Renaissance, Barbillon Cécile painted “Eva Prima Pandora,” a sort of fusion of Eve and Pandora, the sinful first women of their respective mythologies.

Barbillon Cécile, “Eva Prima Pandora,” 1550

She was a very popular subject among nineteenth century painters:

Dante Gabriel Rosetti, 1871
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1881
Walter Crane, 1885
Charles Edward Perugini, 1893
John William Waterhouse, 1896

Many contemporary artists have created wonderful interpretations:

Pandora by Jean Wei
Jean Wei
Pandora's Box by Lili Batista
Lili Batista
Jenna Whyte

And there is even a classic Mighty Mouse cartoon loosely based on the myth of pandora’s box!

Pandora: Core Reading

Pandora: Creative Prompt