Never Ending War: East Of Eden By John Steinbeck

917 words - 4 pages

In John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden”, the author continuously brings up the theory of man always at war with good and evil, and ultimately having to choose which side they are on. As humans, uncertainty and confusion are two main factors to our indecisiveness. Nor is it easy when we are being engulfed by conflicting pathways and influences of others. In “East of Eden” the complex character of Cal Trask is pulled by two conflicting directions. He battles his evil ancestry, and yet tries to compete with the goodness of his perfect brother, Aaron. These influences exemplify Steinbeck’s message of the struggle between good and evil being recurring theme throughout human history.
To begin, Cal ...view middle of the document...

Aaron, the perfect son, a smart, good-looking young man that everyone wished they could be. One thing that Aaron has that Cal doesn’t is the love and affection from others. Aaron is adored and is the light of his father’s eye, which Cal is just a piece of dust to his father. Because of the constant scrutiny and loneliness that was embodied within Cal he created a fiery rage for his brother. Though, he loved his brother, Cal began to hate himself and felt that is has grown to be evil. Since Aaron exemplified goodness and pureness, Cal did not. He could be categorized as the evil one from the twins. Shortly after a feud between the twins, Aaron enlists in the army. On the day Aaron enlists in the Army to fight in World War I, his father asks Aaron's twin brother, Cal, "Where is your brother?" and Cal answers, "How do I know? Am I supposed to look after him?" (Steinbeck 564). Cal has to basically compete with his brother. His father wants Cal to look for him, because he is the pride and joy of his eyes. Cal refuses to do what his father ordered because Adam is using him so maybe he could wonder the streets to find the most valuable person to Adam, Aaron. No longer will Cal be manipulated and be seen as a rag doll, while his brother becomes the star. He is tired of being in the background trying to fight for attention.
Both these influences led to Cal’s rocky road of choosing whether he was good or evil. His blood and the grand competition of fighting for the goodness of his perfect brother led...

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