East of Eden

The Usage of Language in East of Eden 11th Grade

With its intricate, complex plot infused with an abundance of emotional turmoil, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is indeed successful in fulfilling its author's intention to rip a reader’s “nerves to rags.” As one finally becomes satisfied with the novel’s progression, Steinbeck orders a dramatic turn of events which transforms the satisfied mindset of the reader into hair ripping frustration within a matter of seconds. Thus, with descriptive imagery, use of theme, and specific diction, Steinbeck without a doubt succeeds in failing to satisfy his reader and is able to elicit vivid reactions.

Steinbeck opens East of Eden with detailed descriptions of setting. It is noticed that his description of Salinas Valley in the beginning of the novel parallels with the theme and future progression of the story. He introduces his theme of “balance” and the comparison of good and evil in an analogy to the setting; he describes his childhood in the Salinas and states, “I remember the Gabilan Mountains to the east of the valley were light gay mountains […] The Santa Lucias stood up against the sky to the west […] they were dark and brooding – unfriendly and dangerous. I always found in myself a dread of west and a love of east” (Steinbeck 1)....

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