Monday, February 2, 2009

East of Eden- post 6- Good versus Evil

What is an interesting way that the concept of Good versus Evil comes into play in the novel? How does this concept connect with the message of the novel as a whole? Include a quote and page number in your analytical response.

36 comments:

  1. An interesting scenario of good versus evil is with Caleb and his inner thoughts. He believes that he has recieved all the characteristics of his mother of being evil, and is jealous of his good or 'perfect' brother Aron. The evil thoughts that lurk his mind battle with his everday feelings of becoming a genuine person. Connecting to the story as a whole, the message the book sends is that everyone has good within them. No matter the bad things Caleb or anyone has done, or what background he/she has come from, everyone is capable of good. On page 542 Lee says to Cal, "it was the only way he knew. He had no choice. But you have. Don't you hear me?" This explains how people believe in Caleb and how he truly is a great person at heart.

    Brett Speranzella 2/3/09

    ReplyDelete
  2. The concept of good versos evil shows up in East of Eden when Charles and Adam debate over what to do with the money they inheritade from their mysterious father. In this argument, Charles wants to ask the army how their father got this money. If they found out that he stole it, Charles would give the money up. This would be an act of kindness because it is like if someone found a wallet on the ground they would turn it into the police. On the other hand, Adam is the opposing force. He wants to keep the money for their own gain.
    "Charles was breathing heavily. 'Then you would take the money?'
    'Of course.'
    'Even if he stole it?' (Steinbeck 70).
    This battle versus good and evil is interesting because throughout the rest of the novel, Charles seems like the evil force. In the beginning he beats Adam and later on he even sleeps with Adam's wife.

    -Andrew Licht-

    ReplyDelete
  3. John Steinbeck's East of Eden is a novel that tells 2 generations worth of a Cain and Abel story. It follows Adam Trask's sons, Cal and Aron (Cain and Abel) and in a sense shows Cal's struggle with his inner darkness, and his desire to do the right thing. Cal always says things like "I want to be good." and somehow always ends up doing more harm than good. Aron on the other hand, has this ominous aura about him. He is smarter, and the more favored by his father Aron, just as Cain was more favored by God. Because of this, Cal becomes something of an attention getter. This meaning that he always tries to stand out in a crowd.
    "Don't let me be mean". This quote is actually very powerful. In various instances, Cal says this in his head, to try and hold back his inner urges to bully his brother Aron. Cal manages to keep a lid on his evil side by saying this. Later however, he tells Aron the truth about their mother. Aron goes off to war, and is killed in actiojn, so in a way, Cal killed his brother.
    Cathy could also be described as evil. First she manipulated Adam and had children with him, then she shot him in the stomach and ran off. Cathy embodies temptation, the evil side. See, she is a prostitute, proven when, despite being married to Adam, she sleeps with his brother Charles. Through this action, Charles also comes to represent inner darkness. One could say that Cathy represent the snake in the Garden of Eden, who tempted Eve with knowledge. Despite the fact that Adam risks his life to protect her and nurse her back to health, she still betrays him in the end. That's all for this one.

    -Jason A.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good verses evil was a very common them in East of Eden. I think that the reader catagorizes a character as good or evil based on their actions. In this book a character's actions have a lot to do with whether they are accepted or rejected by the person they love. They may not be able to control the rejection, but they can control their own resulting actions. This is where the whole "Timshel" theme comes into play. Timshel means "thou mayest' and it is very important to the development of the novel because it embodies the idea that people are not born evil. The bible passage in Hebrew reads "Thou mayest rule over sin." A person can choose whether or not they want to be good or evil. This idea is seen most obviously in the development of Cal. He thought that he was all evil and Aron was all good. He though that because his mother was evil, he was doomed to be evil. He is wrong and Adam lets him know that at the end of the book. When Lee asks for Cal's forgiveness from Adam, Adam says, "Timshel" (600). That is Adam's last word in the book and it opens up a better future for Cal. Adam lets Cal know that his own character is up to him and him alone. He makes the choices.

    -Ginny Cousens

    ReplyDelete
  5. Are any of the characters purely good or evil? Or is every one a mix of the two? Is a person not human if he does not have both? Does Timshel, the choice, make us human?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Steinback’s novel “East of Eden” follows three generations of families in the Salinas Valley. The good versus evil concept is laced into the story in a “Cain and Abel” manner, in which Charles and Caleb are inherently evil with Adam and Aron being the kindhearted oppositions. Cyrus and Trace Trask have two sons, Charles and Adam. Charles strives to be the quintessential son, attacking all the tasks of which he thinks his father would be proud. Adam is the kind opposition; he lives merely to be good, and does not go to the same lengths to please his father. Adams two sons, Caleb and Aron have the same dynamic as Charlie and Adam, respectively.
    The relationships they form with each other strengthen their very different personalities. Charlie and Caleb become more angry and aggressive while Adam and Aron become more caring and passive. This concept relates to the novel as a whole because it shows that personality is formed through relationships, and you have the will to change your personality. Later the narrator says, “And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. (131)” This quote reveals that though experiences and relationships strengthen personality, it only you who can control your actions and opinions. By opposing each other the brothers are more able to see who they want to be, and eventually learn that they control themselves and their thoughts and personalities are free.

    ~ joanna ostrosky

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good versus Evil is a reoccuring theme that occurs in the book East of Eden. The characters are forced to make difficult decisions in which are either good or evil. It is interesting to see the regrets and consequences that unfold at the end of the story. The message this book shows is that good and evil decisions can lead to life or death consequences.

    -Sam Friday

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good vs Evil is a huge part of East of Eden because it is shown through a few characters in the novel and not just one. The responses above are well-thought out and show a really good insight on the different characters who go through the decisions needed to be seen as good or evil. The book also relates to the biblical story of Cain and Abel because Cal and Aron are almost like Cain and Abel. Abel is good while Cain is evil because he kills his brother Abel. Aron is the good son in the novel and Cal is supposedly the evil son. They may seem like they represent Cain and Abel, but a major theme of this book is "Timshel" which means "thou mayest", showing that people have the choice to change and are able to. Cal goes through this decision making and at the end, he does change and is not the evil son anymore.
    -Marissa S.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The idea of good vs. evil, in my opinion, is the most significant theme in the novel. Every character is either had goodness, evil, or struggles between the two. Two sets of characters in particular share a relationship that relates to the Cain and Abel story – Charles and Adam, and Caleb and Aron. Even characters who did not relate to this biblical story showed signs of goodness or evil, such as Cathy, Samuel, Cyrus, Lee, and even the smaller characters in the story. Even between the two families discussed in the story – the Hamiltons and Trasks.

    The second question that Ms. Coppens posted later – asking if any characters are purely good or evil – is a very thought-provoking idea. I believe that there are very few characters who are purely one or the other, I see most of them as a mix of the two. Cathy is obviously a character who is purely evil. From her childhood, she knew herself that she had the ability to take control over people. As a child, he appeared to people with having a “face of innocence” (73). The only people who saw through her evil behavior were the ones who got to know her well, and I believe that it was for this reason that she did not want to have a family. I feel like she was afraid to get to too close to anyone and have her true identity discovered. It took Adam years to see that Cathy was not worth him huffing over. From the narrators point of view, Cathy was “possessed by the devil” (73), and her he saw her as so monstrous that she shouldn’t be considered human. This leads into the next part of the question, if not being purely evil or good makes one not human. I don’t agree with this. I just see it as Cathy having a power to manipulate others, and that’s just her personality and behavior. Even if she was aware of timshel, she would still likely choose the evil path in life.

    A character like Caleb is probably the one who struggles the most between good and evil. He began his life following evil, but, after much struggling, was able to overcome it. By embracing the idea of timshel, he chooses goodness over evil in life. After fearing that he would fall to evil from the influences of Cathy in his life and struggling with jealously of his brother to gain love from from his father, he is finally able to break free from what the audience would have expected him to. However, he ultimately does complete the Cain and Abel story with Aron –by telling Aron the truth about their mother, he causes Aron to enlist in the Army, where he is killed. So, in a way, Caleb indirectly kills his brother by sending him too the army. The goodness that Caleb chooses to embrace is, in the end, the cause of his brothers own downfall.

    Gillian

    ReplyDelete
  10. Buttocks and dicksocks

    ReplyDelete
  11. you is a stupid wit reading

    ReplyDelete
  12. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the site is really good.
    Here is my site ... GeeksonSteroids

    ReplyDelete
  13. Actually when someone doesn't be aware of then its up to other viewers that they will help, so here it takes place.
    Look at my web-site :: Lexington Law

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey there I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Google for something else, Anyways I am
    here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round
    enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all
    at the minute but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up
    the great b.
    Feel free to surf my weblog - Apple Valley

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect
    against hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on.
    Any tips?
    My webpage: mortgage help

    ReplyDelete
  16. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei finest on the internet blogshop for wholesale & supply korean add-ons, earrings, earstuds, necklace, rings,
    trinket, bangle & hair accessories. Offer 35 % wholesale rebate. Ship Worldwide
    my web site - stitching wire

    ReplyDelete
  17. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei greatest internet blogshop for
    wholesale & quantity korean add-ons, accessories, earstuds, locket, rings, bangle,
    bracelet & hair accessories. Promotion 35 % wholesale discount. Ship Worldwide
    my web page - brain training iPad

    ReplyDelete
  18. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei greatest on the internet blogshop for
    wholesale & supply korean accessories, earrings, earstuds, necklace, rings, bracelet,
    hair & bracelet add-ons. Deal 35 % wholesale discount. Ship Worldwide
    my web site :: locksmith slc

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi, I desire to subscribe for this website to get most up-to-date updates, therefore where can i do
    it please help out.
    My blog ... eco.kid

    ReplyDelete
  20. Incredible quest there. What happened after? Take care!
    Here is my blog post :: mlm power marketing

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very good article. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well.
    .
    Here is my web site : browse around these guys

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts
    in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this website.

    Studying this info So i'm happy to show that I've a very excellent
    uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what
    I needed. I such a lot indubitably will make certain to do not fail to remember
    this web site and provides it a glance regularly.
    Also visit my web blog :: seo company india

    ReplyDelete
  23. Good way of explaining, and pleasant post to obtain information regarding
    my presentation topic, which i am going to present in university.
    My page > seo company india

    ReplyDelete
  24. Fine way of describing, and good paragraph to obtain facts
    about my presentation focus, which i am going to deliver in institution of higher education.


    Here is my web-site; stop smoking without drugs

    ReplyDelete
  25. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation
    but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will
    try to get the hang of it!

    Also visit my web blog :: FDA approved diet and appetite suppressors in Miami

    ReplyDelete
  26. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?

    My site has a lot of completely unique content I've either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being ripped off? I'd
    genuinely appreciate it.

    My web-site: FDA approved diet and appetite suppressors in Miami

    ReplyDelete
  27. I used to be able to find good info from your content.


    Also visit my blog post: jobs
    my site :: jobs in uk

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's very straightforward to find out any matter on web as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this website.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post ... free porn Videos And movies

    ReplyDelete
  29. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for
    me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!


    Here is my web site :: Mature Videos Zor Porno

    ReplyDelete
  30. When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four
    emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

    Feel free to visit my site ... xxx-fuck.net

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm gone to tell my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this blog on regular basis to take updated from most up-to-date information.

    Have a look at my webpage ... free porn movies

    ReplyDelete
  32. tyrone likes it in the butt

    ReplyDelete
  33. My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He was totally right. This post actually made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information!
    Thanks!

    my web site :: cfnmfever.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.

    Your website provided us with valuable info to work on. You've done an impressive job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

    Here is my homepage :: bodystockings porn ()

    ReplyDelete
  35. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your site and in
    depth information you present. It's nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same old rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I've saved your site and I'm adding
    your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Also visit my web-site :: free black porn movie sample
    (www.btvn.net)

    ReplyDelete