John Steinbeck's East Of Eden

1787 Words8 Pages
Are humans born evil or is it a trait that is developed through life experiences?The novel East of Eden by John Steinbeck, questions exactly this. The novel, published in September 1952 by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, was not very successful in its first years, but after winning the Oprah’s Book Club award in 2003, sales were boosted, and so was the author’s fame. East of Eden was adapted into a very successful film in 1955 featuring James Dean in his first starring role. The film won many awards, including the Golden Globe for best motion picture drama in 1956. East of Eden is a novel set in Salinas, California in the late nineteenth century. It follows the lives of the Trask family: the reincarnation of the Biblical story of Cain…show more content…
Steinbeck shows the reader just how important it is for a parent to give attention to their children and not choose favourites. Most children look to their parents for guidance throughout their lives, from their religious beliefs to how they dress. Many children gain a large part of their personality and morality from watching their parents. Throughout East of Eden, Adam and Charles struggle to keep their father’s attention divided equally between them. Cyrus is father to half brothers Adam and Charles, but he clearly favors Adam. This is what leads to the unhealthy amounts of jealousy that Charles feels towards Adam, and ultimately leads him down a path filled with evil.. Adam did not have an easy childhood by any means, Cyrus had big plans for Adam to go into the army and become what he considered to be a man. This is what led to Adam’s resentment towards his father and his hatred for his brother who did not have the same amount of pressure on his shoulders. “He has always felt the danger of his brother, but now he understood that he must never win unless he was prepared to kill Charles”(Steinbeck 24). This quotation illustrates how difficult it is for Charles to let go of his anger and not take it out on Adam. Adam also shows the amount of control that he needed to not attack Charles in return because he knows that he would lose or kill his brother. Steinbeck really wants to highlight how much of an impact both parents and siblings have on each other’s lives. As the years progress.most siblings get over their rivalries and grow to love and care about one another. After Cyrus dies in the novel, the boys cannot live together for more than a few months before the rivalry begins again and they start to hate the mere sight of the other. East of Eden shows how once trust is broken it permanently ruins relationships that are important for proper development. Family plays an overwhelming part in a
Open Document