East of Eden Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of East of Eden.
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Good vs. Evil

Steinbeck utilizes the story of Adam and Eve and their sons, Cain and Abel, extracted from the Book of Genesis in the Bible, to illustrate the theme of good vs. evil in life. In the Bible story, Adam and Eve are created to live in paradise in the Garden of Eden but their sin casts them out. Their sons, Cain and Abel, take different paths, and Cain ultimately kills Abel and is banished to live in Nod, a land east of Eden. Steinbeck believes that all men have both good and evil in them and, although most do not commit the heinous crime of fratricide, all men live east of Eden, where they must struggle with the human condition. There are obvious contrasts in the characters exhibiting good and evil: Mrs. Trask, Alice Trask, Adam and Aron are the virtuous characters in the Trask family while...

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This section contains 737 words
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Buy the East of Eden Study Guide
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Novels for Students
East of Eden from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.