East of Eden

Good and Evil in East of Eden

In the novel East of Eden, Steinbeck emphasizes the theme of the struggle between good and evil. He says that this perpetual battle is the only true human story in that all of mankind can find themselves and their thoughts and actions in this tale. "We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil." Writers, musicians, farmers, and salesmen alike have found themselves caught in this internal conflict. Stein beck says, "I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence." In East of Eden, many of the characters' struggles are obvious as they grow and learn of the often harsh and unjust world in which they were placed. Charles is torn between good and evil as a child faced with a father that only loves him second-best. Likewise, Cal feels that he is inferior to Aron's near perfection and must battle with himself constantly.

The story of good and evil, present throughout East of Eden, has been told since the beginning of mankind. In the Garden of Eden, man first became aware of the difference between virtue and vice after eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. From that...

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