Thanks to James McGrath for lovely quote which inspires me to make two observations about Gen 2-3.
1. The suspense of Gen 2:18-20 relies on the reader not having read Gen 1:26-28. The way the story is being told the audience are expected not to know what partner might be found for the man. But Gen 1:26-28 has already given it away, man goes with woman and the two of them are supposed to "go forth and multiply." Thus the suspense and resolution of Gen 2:18-25, which arrives at essentially the same answers by a different route makes no sense if treated as part of a continuous narrative with Gen 1. The two creation accounts should not be harmonized but read as alternative accounts. This is not because I feel the need to do this to satisfy some modernist need to justify my enjoyment of and adherence to these ancient myths, but because the text (which I believe is God's word) actually demands it.
2. The serpent is introduced in 3:1 as being "more crafty than any other wild animal that God had made." Because of this, and the resultant loss of limb for said serpent in 2:14, I have never understood the ease with which this chatty little reptile is conflated with Satan and the Devil. To do so takes the story out of the category of myth and into allegory. If it is allegorical then why do we need to get so excited about whether or not it is historical? This also makes it hard for me to accept that in Gen 3:15 we find the proto-euangelion. To me 3:15 is simply a folksy explanation of why snakes are nasty. The true proto-euangelion is, IMHO at least, Gen 12:1-3 and it would seem that here the Apostle Paul agrees with me (cf. Gal 3:8, which might count for something with some people).
Let me know what you think :-)