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East Of Eden With Cain And Abel

1726 words - 7 pages

Gandhi once said, “I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul”.
The novel East of Eden by John Steinbeck is an allegory to the biblical story of Cain and Abel, and many of its characters become embodiments of both good and evil. As they struggle to overcome what has been decided for them they are taught they hold the power to overcome and rise above their destiny’s. When the Hebrew idea of “timshel” is introduced to the allegory of Cain and Abel, it become apparent that whether life is predestined or not; mankind holds the ultimate ability of deciding what will become of himself. Adam’s choice to move on from Cathy, Cal’s decision to forgive himself, and Cathy’s decision to let evil overcome her prove that overcoming what is predestined for one lies in the hands of the individual.
The main character Adam Trask proves that by letting go of Cathy and deciding to create a new type of Eden that mankind holds the ultimate decision to rise above their destines. After finding Cathy and marrying her, Adam believes that he has found the missing part of his life. Cathy becomes the emblem of perfection and a key to happiness for him. As Adam continues to fall in love with her he starts to fall more out of touch with reality causing him to miss the obvious signals that Cathy does not feel the same way about him. Her manipulative ways are able to fool Adam’s kindness. Adam, being too naive to pay attention the obvious indications that Cathy does not love him is left in complete shock after she shoots and leaves him after the birth of their sons. After centralizing his dream around creating his own Eden with Cathy as his own Eve, he sees no point in moving forward with his life. He tells Samuel Hamilton, “I have no one to show a garden to” (Steinbeck 270). Adam’s goodness may be the preferred trait one would prefer to inherit, however it ends up being the downfall of him because it prevents him from seeing a person for who they really are. His kind nature ultimately is the reason he is able to be tricked by Cathy’s manipulative ways. However, after believing he is left with nothing and letting himself wallow in self pity, the honorable and wise Samuel Hamilton reminds him of an important story. Mr. Hamilton reminds Adam that King James of the bible once said, “thou salt prevail over sin”, however it is up to the man to rise above his pain and mistakes. Adam, still feeling sorry for himself, is hesitant to believe Samuel’s advice. However, after making a visit to his wife Cathy in her new life as a whore, he finally realizes he can be okay with out her. He realizes that his children deserve a father better than one who is in love with a whore. He sees through Cathy’s manipulation and decides that he can live happily with what he has. Adam confirms his choice to overcome Cathy saying, “I seemed to come out of a sleep, in some strange way my eyes have...

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