John Steinbeck East Of Eden Analysis

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The bible is classic form of literature that many refer to in many forms, and East of Eden by John Steinbeck is one of the more famous examples of creating an entire story based on an allusion to the bible. Steinbeck borrows many elements from the bible that allow the reader to be captivated in his ideas, and he does this very methodically in order to retain those readers. East of Eden, a classic American novel, borrowed content from the bible in order to establish the theme that as humans we are able to indulge in knowledge of the world and sin A classical allusion to the bible is the description of the evil “character of Lilith.” Per Merriam-Webster, this biblical character is defined as, “A female figure who in rabbinic legend is Adam’s…show more content…
Cathy in East of Eden is a parallel to John Steinbeck’s real wife and Lilith. This mythical “demon of the night” is a clear comparison to Cathy because she is depicted as a demon and monster throughout the novel, and she becomes manipulative and sinful in order to reach her success (Merriam Webster). The most prevalent example of the harsh characterization is when Steinbeck describes that, “the eyes of Cathy had no message, no communication of any kind,” (Steinbeck, 177). He elaborates on the features of Cathy by saying, “there was nothing recognizable behind them. They were not human eyes,” (Steinbeck, 177). This is significant in terms of the bible because it is an extremely clear comparison with Lilith, and it follows the theme that people are able to be sinful in the world and be successful in their efforts, which Cathy always makes sure happens through her manipulation. Another Lilith comparison is Steinbeck’s idea of sexuality. Lilith is depicted as a sexual creature in the bible and folklore, and the sexuality…show more content…
In the old testament, the various parts introduce the word of God and the creation of the Garden of Eden. In East of Eden, the first two parts introduce Charles and Adam and the struggles they face with the indulgence of sin. The first part begins with a characterization of the Trask family being purely corrupted: “Adam’s father was something of a devil...and managed to make his wooden leg seem jaunty and undesirable,” (Steinbeck, 14). This depiction of Cyrus as a monster allows for the idea of original sin, like in the bible, to be present. This creates the effect that steinbeck is clear about the importance of sin in everyone’s lives. Later in the first two parts in the book, Steinbeck suggests that, “man’s freedom was boiling off,” (Steinbeck, 129). This is important to account in terms of the theme of the indulgence of sin because the New Testament, brings in Jesus and his journey to ridding the world of sin and offering forgiveness. The second part of East of Eden is similar in that way because it shows the fact that there is freedom with sin. Steinbeck returns to the idea of, “the word timshel—’Thou mayest’—that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world,” (Steinbeck 303). This is one of the most important facts of the book because it again shows the
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