Originally Posted by ApK
I would argue that, as one writer put it, he put those words in that order for a reason.
Certainly there is not always layers of considered meaning in every word and phrase, but every word and phrase does evoke something, intended or not.
Even if the writer didn't mean to evoke images of Adam and Eve, or autumn, or, Newtonian physics, in the choice of an apple, if it touches readers in those ways, that's what separates 'writing' as an art form from, say, the machine-translations of a Korean instruction manual.
I think discussing and considering and exploring the evocations associated with that choice of eating an apple has value. Even if you happen to be right, and the author randomly picked the first fruit he saw.
Some choices are of course deliberate; others are probably the author's subconscious at work. Something made him or her think that apple was the correct and only choice in that particular passage. And I do think it can be interesting to look at how certain elements contribute to the story in ways that the author may not even have been consciously aware of.
But this is not what I wanted to do in high school. I wanted to read the book, discuss the grand themes and the plot and the character motivations, not get bogged down in the minutiae. That can come later if a book is worthy of further study. But just let kids read the book and get the overall experience first, not have to pick it apart ad nauseam.