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East of Eden

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck deserves to be called a Classic.


Reasons to agree

  1. Even if the actions of the characters in East of Eden don't fit into an understandable set of interest or motivation, the story is awesome.
  2. The moral of the story is great: We can all choose what we become.
  3. It explains how important a parent's approval is in determining a child's future.
  4. It explains the draw of the military. What it does to a man, both good and bad.
  5. It shows the power of positive thinking. Adam didn't have a good wife. She was a murdering prostitute, that enjoyed sucking the life out of everyone she came in contact with. But Adam THOUGHT he had a good wife, and so it turned his life around! # What if we all woke up in the morning, and thought we were as lucky as he thought he was, even if we are only as lucky as he really was. None of her character traits mattered to him, because he saw in her a culmination of all that was bountiful. He saw her as an Angel. He wasn't seeing her, he was seeing a reflection of himself, or what he wanted to be, or what he thought was beautiful. This helped him get past his bad childhood, and the war.
  6. It explains how damaging guilt can be to overcome.
  7. Before resuming the story of Adam Trask and Cathy Ames, Steinbeck speculates on "monstrous changes taking place in the world": the impact of a faceless mass culture on the mind of the individual man or woman. ("When our food and clothing and housing are all born in the complication of mass production, mass method is bound to get into our thinking and to eliminate all other thinking. In our time mass or collective production has entered our economics, politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea God.") "And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost." John Steinbeck, East of Eden
  8. Make sure you read the whole book. If you only make it through part one, the whole book looks awfully depressing.
  9. It's cool the way that Mr. Steinbeck describes the way Adam figured his father out. That he realized that his father was not putting all the effort into his children, because he loved them or even cared what happened to them. He was putting all the effort into him and his brother, because his father thought it made him look good. This can get you thinking about parenthood. The very worst parents would be a father that abused his kids (verbally or physically). I don't know if you would put Adam's father into this category. The discipline might have gone to the point that it was abuse, but Mr. Steinbeck does not really tell us that. I think Mr. Trask was more guilty of Neglect, which I would classify as a step above abuse (Adam was also guilty of neglecting his children. On could ask which was worse. Sillus's over involvement, in the form of discipline, for the sake of his own reputation, or Adam's neglect because of his broken heart). Above both of these behaviors, I would put, involvement for the sake of reputation. And above that I would put involvement for the love of your children or concern for their well being.
  10. The guy from Ireland is awesome.
  11. This book shows how everything in life comes back to how we want acceptance.


Reasons to agree

  1. John Steinbeck does not create believable characters in East of Eden.
  2. Things should have worked out better for the guy from Ireland.
  3. Things should have worked out better for the guy who committed suicide. What was the point of that?
  4. The book is not finished. We need to know what happens to Calab.
  5. Some people say that John Steingbeck tried too hard on this book. He over-reached trying too hard to write a book that was critically acclaimed. (more)

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