A Book Report On John Stinbeck&Acute;S East Of Eden

1515 words - 6 pages

Good vs. EvilThis is a story of two families´ lives and times all the way from The Civil War to WW1- The Trasks and the Hamiltons.Most of the novel is placed in Salinas Valley in Northern California, Which is described as a land of sharp contrasts. The land is inviting and unfriendly, light and dark, safe and dangerous. These oppositions underlie the central clash in the novel, between what we see as good or as evil. Just as the land's contradictions, we get to follow these families' contradictions in the their behaviours, their feelings, their humanity.The driving force of this book is the ability to choose between good and evil. The Trasks personalise the biblical story of Cain and Abel throughout the novel, and The Hamiltons are in so many ways the counterpoint to them.One of the main characters is Adam Trask, whom we see struggling to find good and the hope for a new start. His search continues throughout the book. He meets Cathy Ames, who is described as a monster by the author, blind to her true colors Adam marries her and this decision would be the start of a lifetime of misery for him and the next generation of Trasks.Cathy embodies evil; lacking conscience she manipulates everyone around her. Her ability to only see the bad in people makes her a stranger to what good is. By the time Adam meets her she has murdered her parents and caused a man to kill himself among other terrible things.As soon as she marries Adam she sleeps with his brother Charles Trask. Cathy gets pregnant much to her disappointment. She tries to end the pregnancy but she fails and she gives birth to twin boys- Caleb and Aaron; as soon as she gives birth to them she abandons them and Adam. The boys grow up without a mother and yet she will have a crucial role in the drama of hate that arises between them.Charles Trask only a year younger than his brother is violent, cold-blooded and manipulative. He nearly kills Adam out of jealousy. Evil Cathy regards him as a "soul mate".He is possibly the father of Caleb.Charles and Adam Trask are the ones who play out the role of Cain and Able in the earlier part of the book but Caleb and Aaron slowly take over these roles as they grow up. Aaron grows up to be like his father. He is bighearted and sensitive and Caleb very much the opposite. Aaron has "pink-white skin, golden hair and wide-set blue eyes" and " Cal was growing up dark-skinned and dark-haired". Aron was loveable and Cal was feared and disliked. Cal becomes jealous of his brother. He manipulates and he's brutal yet he struggles with his dark side. He is haunted by the thought that he could be like his mother- evil. Caleb is of course the Cain figure and Aron is Able.A Chinese servant named Lee raises the boys as Adam becomes more or less emotionally and mentally paralysed when Cathy leaves. Lee plays many rolls in this novel. He is a surrogate mother, a loyal friend and a source of wisdom and a confidant for Adam, the twins and Samuel Hamilton whom he...

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