The Theme Of Love In John Steinbeck's East Of Eden

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Love’s Absence and Death’s Presence

The outcasts and the unloved grow to either become the protagonist or the antagonist of a story; Unlike in John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden, rarely is there a Cathy simply filled with pure malevolence. What separates the good and evil characters? “Timshel” or “thou mayest,” as Lee the Chinese house servant puts it which means that the characters have a choice of which path they will take. But what if there is no choice for the character? Cal faces this lack of choice. His father has loved his twin brother Aron over him for his whole life for inexplicable reasons, and this lack of love has always hindered Cal. However, lying on his deathbed, Adam has the power to free Cal from this binding force that the absence of love holds on him. Lee watches and pleads, “Help him, Adam-help him. Give him his chance. Let him be free. That’s all a man has over the beasts. Free him! Bless him (Steinbeck 602)!” The absence of parental love leaves a hole only to be filled with hate, anger and death; without the blessing of love, Cal will die along with his father.
It was December 25th, Christmas morning. Instead of waking up to my little brother’s excited smile, I was met with a face of sorrow and fear. Andrew told me he was scared and he did not know what to do and he heard Alex crying
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These feelings eat away at the soul leaving the person abhorred and hollow. What can someone do when even their own creator doesn’t love them? They become the monster they were created to be. Whether the person is Cain, Cal, Charles or Alex, the predisposition towards evil has been ever present because of the lack of love’s presence. The first murder in the bible was not when Cain shed Abel’s blood; the first murder was when God killed Cain’s freedom by refusing to love
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