East Of Eden

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2002

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Good versus Evil, it is life's story at least according to John Steinbeck in East of Eden. In East of Eden Steinbeck retells the tale of Cain and Abel through the Trask family. The story of Cain and Abel is that God favored Abel's gift over Cain's gift. That made Cain jealous of Abel and eventually Cain killed Abel and was cast out of Eden forever. God then tells Cain that he can choose to good or to be bad from then on. Steinbeck takes the story even farther by using emotions to make the story more dramatic. Several characters represent characters in the Biblical story of Cain and Abel and have similar outcomes. Steinbeck creatively names all characters that represent Cain with names that begin with "C"� like Charles and Caleb and characters that represent Abel with names that begin with "A"� like Adam and Aron. Cal and Charles or faced with the decision to be good or bad due to their fathers' preference to love them second best.

Cathy, Kate is the promoter of all evil. The Hamiltons, especially Sam, and Lee help to promote goodness in all the characters through teachings and example. As Steinbeck put it "We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil."�