East of Eden and John Steinbeck

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John Steinbeck and East of Eden Stories from the Bible have often been adapted into modern literature, but none have ever been has well written or influential as East of Eden by John Steinbeck. East of Eden revolves around the lives of the Trasks, and of the Hamiltons, two families who find their way to Salinas Valley, California, and how they live and thrive there. The novel mirrors Adam and Eve’s exile from paradise and the tragedy of Cain and Abel. The protagonist of the story, Adam Trask, is portrayed as the biblical Adam throughout the first half of the book, who’s paradise is taken away when he realizes that the woman he married and loved was truly evil personified. His life was planned out perfectly, and was to live wealthy in love and money, but he was blinded by his aspirations and never saw her true motives. Adam’s wife Cathy Ames gave birth to twins Cal and Aron, but immediately following the birth Cathy shot Adam in the shoulder and became the top cat of a brothel. The second half of the story focuses around Cal Trask, and his attempt to gain praise from his father. In this half Adam represents God, while Cal and Aron represent Cain and Abel respectively. The story ends with the news of Aron’s death after joining the army, and Adam finally blessing Cal on his deathbed, giving Cal the love that he always sought. The story’s main theme is that the choice between good and evil cannot be decided by God or past history, only by the one who is presented with the choice. John Steinbeck considered East of Eden to be the culmination of his life’s work and his masterpiece. John Steinbeck was born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California and as he grew up his mother Olive Steinbeck, a school teacher, spurred his love of reading and writing. While he grew up, Steinbeck began to realize how difficult the life of a migrant worker was. During his summers, he
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