East of Eden

discuss Stienbecks philosophy concerning the "number of [man's] glories" and the free exploring mind of the individual human [being] the most valuable thing in the world

Book is east of eden

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Complete quote:

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men. ”

Steinbeck's philosophy was that men should have free minds, that the ability man has to grow, change, and dream must be preserved. Man flourishes in a creative environment, and to create a system in which humanity must follow a pattern makes one no better than an uncreative animal. He believes that free minds and the ability for man to see glory must be defended.