In John Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden, the author explores mankind’s endeavor to overcome internal and worldly evil by utilizing biblical allusions and circular prose.
“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). John Steinbeck’s work, East of Eden, is the one he considered to be his greatest, with all novels before leading up to it. Indeed, it grandly recounts the stories of the human race as told by the Bible, including Adam and Eve, but most prominently that of Cain and Abel. It touches upon both Steinbeck’s own family and a fictional family in a depiction of “man 's capacity for both good and evil” (Fontenrose). Joseph Fontenrose, however, criticizes Steinbeck’s message as contradictory and convoluted, with no clear relationship between good and evil.
In John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, the archetypal mother figure of Olive Hamilton, who is modeled after the author’s own mother, is sharply contrasted with the novel’s antagonist, the ultimate anti-mother figure of Cathy Ames. This juxtaposition of characters highlights not only Olive’s loving, selfless nature, but also Cathy’s diabolical, egocentric one.
Good and Evil in East of Eden Everyone knows that they have a choice a choice of whether to do good or evil. As Steinbeck said himself “As for that struggle between good and evil in human history, there is no other story.” Within John Steinbeck’s book East of Eden the main theme which is really pronounced is the choice between good and evil. Mr. Steinbeck conveys this theme by using various literary devices. The obvious literary conflict in this story is man vs man.
From the publication of East of Eden to today the rights and empowerment of women have escalated exponentially. Women are no longer obligated to follow the nurturing mother ideal; they can be independent and strong. Then, in the novel, East of Eden, some believe the author oversimplifies his female characters by filing them into either traditional, caring mothers or heinous villains. However, Steinbeck utilizes their simple, one-dimensional archetypes to show how complex his female roles truly are through subtle details.
Children learn to pursue a pure conscience, close bonds of trust. and to cause commit no sins. This lesson repeats itself, all the way until adulthood, but many forget it as well. As a result, society turns to deceit to solve their issues for them. Others deceive themselves by living in a world of illusions, providing short-term bliss. That said, once the illusion crumbles, it also destroys him. Likewise, John Steinbeck explores the double-edged sword of deception in his novel East of Eden. Just as in society, many characters throughout the story appear innocent and sinless. Despite this initial virtuosity, Steinbeck’s East of Eden evinces humanity’s contrasting and inherent dependence upon selfish uses of deception without considering the
In the novel, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, rhetorical devices are used to illustrate the characters throughout the book to be either be good or evil by the usage of diction, connotation and denotation as well as other rhetorical devices. By using rhetorical devices it allows the audience to gain a better deeper comprehension of the book. The rhetorical devices allow Steinbeck to describe the characteristics of each character to define them as either good or evil which allows the reader to analyze the parallels between one another. In addition, rhetorical devices for example metaphor, tone, diction, simile, imagery, analogy, allegory, and paradox contribute to the author’s style which creates an image for readers to comprehend. Steinbeck uses word choice, tone, anaphora to highlight the juxtaposition between Cathy Ames and Abra Bacon to illustrate how evil and goodness change the perspective about their inherent point.
Cal’s Internal Struggle Not any one person or character has a single characteristic. Personality is made up of a multitude of different things, good and bad. This holds true in John Steinbeck’s, East of Eden, because even though Cal makes immoral decisions he is still human with other admirable attributes. Cal fights against his nature that was passed down to him by Cathy without ever giving up. He discovers how special Aron is, but keeps his composure, “Cal stared fiercely at his brother, at the pale hair and the wide-set eyes, and he suddenly knew why his father loved Aron, knew it beyond doubt.”
In the book “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy the two protagonists, a boy and his father, are set out in a post apocalyptic world where everything is trying to kill them from cannibals to people with nothing. Their main goal is to travel down a road south where the climate is better for living. On their journey they encounter many life threatening obstacles including starvation and “bad guys” that they must overcome to survive. The paternal bond between the father and son is what pushes them beyond what could have been possible and allowed them to make it along their journey.
“His whispered word seemed to hang in the air: ‘Timshel’’’ (Steinbeck 602). In East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Adam Trask says one word to forgive Caleb and free him from feeling rejected. Adam shows that he is honorable through his actions and feelings. He is against violence, he serves his time, and he pays his debts. He feels remorse for sending men into the army and will not accept money earned from war.
Adam and Eve had a perfect Garden of Eden, until Eve ate the apple and contaminated the garden. In being tricked by the snake, Eve betrayed God’s word. Mankind has often betrayed others because of the darkness in their heart. In A Separate Peace, John Knowles uses Phineas as a sacrificial lamb to portray Gene’s savage side and demonstrate that peace can never be achieved at a worldwide level until man accepts the darkness in his own heart.
From a young age, Steinbeck had encountered many hardships. Based off a few of his hardships, he created his novel East of Eden. It is told through the eyes of Olivia Hamilton’s son, who is as everyone comes to realize, John Steinbeck himself. Through Steinbeck’s experiences, the reader learns about two generations who deal with evil goodness within their families.
Remember that Charles represents Cain. Therefore, this piece shows that Abel is capable of hurting Cain. In the next chapter Adam and Charles face the truth about their father. Their father has lied about his time in the war and came across a great deal of money by dishonest means. However, the brothers continue to avoid the facts, they find it too hard to face up to the dishonesty of their father.
Brint, a so called psychologist, helps Adam uncover his past. With the help of Brint, Adam remembers how his family was undercover, in a Re-Identification Program, because of information his father uncovers as a newspaper reporter. The Farmer family was really the Delmonte family. With this discovery, Brint becomes intrigued with Adam and Adam becomes upset, and his insanity becomes more and more evident. Adam’s personality, especially his skepticism, instability, and persistence helps him to overcome the traumatic events of his past.