The elemental story of Creation is cryptic and laden with powerful metaphors. Its motifs of good and evil are transcendent.
One particular concept the story imparts is that choices were less complex. Humans were simple, and were tested with simple choices. There were no clothes, yet there was no shame. Yet once they violated the one instruction they were given, their minds expanded. When challenged for an explanation, they hid, because they understood they were naked.
R’ Chaim Volozhin notes that the snake figure, which is the embodiment of evil, is represented in the story as an external thing.
Our actions have an effect on our surroundings, but crucially, they have an effect on ourselves too. Moral freedom means the ability to make choices. But the repercussions of the first ever moral choice was to incorporate the struggles that enhanced understanding brings into our psyche. No longer a seductive external thing, moral consciousness would evermore be an invisible, internal struggle.