As to the representation of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the representation is in the eating of the fruit, and not in the fruit itself.
When eaten, the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil gave the partaker the ability to perceive the quality of an entity or an act, as to whether it is good or evil. Such perception is essential to right governance. The officer patrolling the street must be able to discern between the law-abiding citizen and the hoodlum awaiting the opportunity to vandalize, rob, steal, rape, or kidnap. The judge on the bench must be able to discern between the guilty and the innocent, and between the truth and the lie.
By eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam demonstrated desire to escape the perfect governance of the Lord God, and to take into his own hands the reins of government; Adam sought to be "the master of his fate, the captain of his soul."* Eating the forbidden fruit was an act of rebellion, by which Adam attempted to establish a government ``of the People, by the People, and for the People.''**
In his great wisdom, the Lord God granted the desire of Adam, but the Lord did so in such a way as to demonstrate to all of mankind the utter inability of man rightly to govern man. Needless to say, the outcome of the rebellion was not at all as Adam envisioned.
The Lord indeed placed the progeny of Adam under the governance of man, but the Lord did not hand over to Adam the reins of government. Instead, the Lord places governing authority in the hands of whomever he chooses, often using corrupt and oppressive government as an instrument of judgment upon a wicked populace; consider Daniel 4:17.
Protestants generally teach that government is a "divine institution," implemented by the Lord God in order to protect the volition of man; but this notion of the Protestant is confused and erroneous. Government at the hand of man is a curse which the Lord God imposed because of the rebellion of Adam. As demonstrated by countless instances in which prophecies of the Scripture have been fulfilled, the Lord God manages the course of history; in this management, the Lord utilizes human rulers, both noble and wicked. Oftentimes the Lord causes a ruler to take specific actions; consider Isaiah 37:29 and Daniel 10:11-20.
Human history is a demonstration that man is incapable of properly governing himself, much less, of rightly governing other men. Over the course of history, every possible system and scheme of government has been implemented, and each has demonstrated itself a failure. Human government is characterized, on the one hand, by incompetence, and, on the other hand, by malice; the result is oppression.
The Scripture declares that the Creation groans in expectant desire for the manifestation of the Sons of God, Romans 8:19-23. The groaning is a consequence of oppression; it is a longing for just government. But the longing of the Creation shall not be satisfied until the Resurrection, for the Resurrection is the mechanism by which the Sons of God shall be manifested or revealed.
The correspondence of the longing of Creation and the revealing of the Sons of God is explained by the fact that the Resurrection is the process of spiritual birth by which the Justified are born into the family of God. These sons are made officers of the Kingdom of Heaven. In the Scripture, a government may be termed a "house," and an office or a position of authority may be termed a "room." Thus, in John 14:2-3, the "mansions" in the "house" of God the Father are offices or positions of authority in the Kingdom of God.
And though Christ Jesus two millennia ago was seated upon the revived Throne of David from which he evermore shall reign, the offices of the Kingdom presently are vacant, for most of the Justified lie in the Grave, awaiting resurrection; the offices cannot be populated until the Justified are raised from the Dead.
Once the Sons of God take their places in the offices of the Kingdom, the implementation of the Kingdom of God shall be complete, and there shall ensue a global transformation of Society, brought about by just government which is imposed by the Kingdom of Heaven. No more shall there be government "of the People and by the People" with the oppression which is inevitable when men rule over men. This, then, explains the desire of the Creation for the manifestation of the Sons of God.
The focus of the Scripture is the implementation of the Kingdom of God, in which Christ Jesus reigns as King, and the Justified, in resurrection, reign with him.
* From "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley (1849-1903).
** John Wycliffe, A.D. 1384, in his prologue to his translation of the Bible, wrote, "The Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People."