East of Eden Topics for Discussion

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The novel is based heavily on the story of Cain and Abel in the Book of Genesis in the Bible. What are the characteristics of Cain and Abel that you know from that story?

Which characters represent Cain and which represent Abel in the story. Explain.

Discuss the irony of a man of Chinese descent dissembling a Hebrew Bible passage to illuminate the hope of mankind.

Do you think it's possible for a person like Cathy to be born bad and stay bad forever? Can you think of any figures living today or in history who are like Cathy in her evilness?

Now that you know the concept of timshel, discuss how it has affected your own life if at all.

Steinbeck paints a verdant picture of the Salinas Valley as the Garden of Eden. What other literary examples occur within the book to reflect the Biblical...

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This section contains 201 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the East of Eden Study Guide
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East of Eden from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.