The Biblical Allusions In John Steinbeck's East Of Eden

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In this thesis, I tried to analyze the Biblical allusions in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The aim of this work was to prove that John Steinbeck used many Biblical allusions, notably the allusions referring to the Biblical story in the fourth chapter of the book Genesis, which is the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, to show the inseparability of the good and the evil and the importance of man’s free will in his life and in the case of overcoming the evil.
I found out, that although the readers may acknowledge many similarities and the Biblical allusions in East of Eden, there are also many important differences which essentially outline the message of Steinbeck’s “Big Book”. The allusions begin from the title of the book, East of Eden and
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Steinbeck did not portray them as purely bad characters, both Charles and Caleb at some points in the story come as very sympathetic to the readers, they show their love for family, not only for their father but also for their brother, whom they eventually hurt. They both regret it, although as it is shown, Caleb regrets his actions very much, he goes to his father Adam and he asks for his forgiveness. This is never done by Charles, although it is clear that he has many regrets over his actions towards Adam and their father Cyrus. Steinbeck implicitly says that they did their crimes because they were rejected by their fathers and their love, which is needed by everyone, especially children. Caleb, as the representative of Cain is perhaps the most sympathetic character in the…show more content…
He also used two representatives of two Biblical figures, Cain and Abel, to show that by means of free will one can choose the course in his life and does not have to follow in his supposedly predestined role of either Cain or Abel. Predestination is closely linked to the concept of Timshel, free will, and Steinbeck uses this concept to portray the importance of it in life. He denies any predestination, he chooses Adam and Caleb to show that no one is predestined to follow in their ancestor’s (Cain and also their fathers in this story) steps and he can choose if he wants to do good or
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