Novel by John Steinbeck, published in 1952. It is a symbolic recreation of the biblical story of Cain and Abel woven into a history of California's Salinas Valley. With East of Eden Steinbeck hoped to reclaim his standing as a major novelist, but his broad depictions of good and evil come at the expense of subtlety in characterization and plot and it was not a critical success. Spanning the period between the American Civil War and the end of World War I, the novel highlights the conflicts of two generations of brothers; the first being the kind, gentle Adam Trask and his wild brother Charles. Adam eventually marries Cathy Ames, an evil, manipulative, and beautiful prostitute; she betrays him, joining Charles on the very night of their wedding. Later, after giving birth to twin boys, she shoots Adam and leaves him to return to her former profession. In the shadow of this heritage Adam raises their sons, the fair-haired, winning, yet intractable Aron, and the dark, clever Caleb. This second generation of brothers vie for their father's approval. In bitterness Caleb reveals the truth about their mother to Aron, who then joins the army and is killed in France. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
East of Eden is a complex and interesting reflection on the interaction of good and evil with the human soul. Through incorporating references to Cain and Abel, John Steinbeck leads the reader to ask, what is good? what is evil? can any human being be completely and thoroughly evil? and most importantly, what is free will? Using multiple literary devices, John Steinbeck portrays the struggles of two generations of the Trask family in addition to those of his own ancestors … more
This book written by John Steinbeck tells a story of several characters whose lives are entwined. Set in the late 1800's into the 1900's the story is written so that it is told from the perspective of different characters throughout and often has flashbacks to give the reader further understanding of the complicated social situations. Because the story encompasses more years than your average novel, it helps paint the picture of our developing nation. Each character is … more
I first read East of Eden when I was twelve years old. Needless to say, I did not truly grasp it. However, I read it again twice in high school, and each time I read it I discover something new. Each time I read it I feel hopeful. Many think it is a depressing tale, too full of religion, too full of pain, however I find it full of hope. What i have taken most out of this book is "timshel." This word mean "Thou mayest." For Lee, this word changes his life. He tries … more
This is a classic! Though the plot may be predictable, its style and character development truly merit its great recognition. Most of the characters are exaggerated and unrealistic. The overstatement and overemphasis of the characters' specific detail and idiosyncrasy that truly makes this book special. John Steinbeck effectively uses characters to further bring objectivity. In this case, he employs Lee's objective nature to bring … more