Father And Son Relationships In East Of Eden, By John Steinbeck

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East of Eden, by John Steinbeck, reflects the complexities in father/son relationships. The connection between a father and his son is vital to their development. The novel explores the impact of these relations is immense. The central allusion of the novel is comparing several characters to Cain and Abel, who were formed through their attempted relationship with their father-like figure, God. They struggled and vied for the attention, love, and respect of God, which subconsciously influenced their actions and thoughts. Cain ended up murdering Abel out of envy of his favorable position, and that conflict is reflected through Charles and Adam Trask, and later Adam’s children Caleb and Aaron. The characters struggle with the notions of good and evil. Timshel is a repeating theme. The concept is the biblical depiction of the internal strife between good and evil that lies in each character.

Adam Trask is a central character in the novel, who the reader sees mature and struggle as both a son and a father. Adam is raised with his young half-brother, Charles, his step-mother, Alice, and his pragmatic father, Cyprus. Cyprus is a military obsessed man who wants to imbue his children with the discipline and honor of the army. He craves order, discipline, and competition, which often leads to tensions between his two sons. Adam is kind and emotion, while Charles thrives under his father’s strict rules and games. The younger brother is dominant and thrives in all aspects of home
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