A Literary Analysis Of East Of Essay

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A Literary Analysis Of East Of

Literary analysis of East of Eden
In Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word love is
defined as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Love can bring
two people together but it can also have a person be rejected by another because of love.
In the novel East of Eden by John Steinbeck, the main character, Adam Trask, confronts a
feeling of love throughout the whole book but he either rejects the love of people who
care about him or has his love rejected by the people that he cares about. When Adam was a
young man in the beginning of the novel, his father, Cyrus Trask loved him but Adam did
not love him back and when Adam went into the army he did not come back home until his
father's death. Later on in the story Adam really loved his wife, Cathy, but she didn't
love him back and so when she tried to leave him and he would not let her, she shot him.
Even though Adam survived he was demoralized for most of his life because he still loved
her. Through Adam's experiences of love in the novel, John Steinbeck shows that Adam Trask
has an inability to handle love.

When he first appears in the novel, Adam Trask is a young man who is not loved by his
brother or mother but only by his father. Cyrus had punished Adam before and had tried to
teach him to be a soldier and so Adam hated him for that and when Cyrus told him he loved
him, Adam did not accept his love. Cyrus tells Adam, "I think you're a weakling who will
never amount to a dog turd. Does that answer your question? I love you better. I always
have. This may be a bad thing to tell you, but it's true. I love you better. Else why
would I have given myself the trouble of hurting you?" (Steinbeck 28). Cyrus is telling
Adam that he has always loved him and that the only reason that he punished him is because
he loved him. He wants Adam to go into the army because he knows that Adam would be
courageous and since Cyrus was in the army, he wants to pass on the legacy. When Adam came
home from his discharge, his brother and him were talking about their father and Adam told
him the truth. "I wasn't sure until now,' said Adam. ‘I was all mixed up with how I was
supposed to feel. No. I did not love him" (69). Adam is telling Charles that after
thinking about it, he never loved his father and so he rejected his love. Charles is now
not jealous of Adam because he knows that Adam does not love his father and he still does.
In contrast to Charles's behavior Adam rejects the only love that loved him so far in the

As the novel progresses, Adam meets his one true love but she in contrast does not love
him back. Adam meets Cathy Ames and then after a while he marries her but she, does not
really marry him. "He breathed harshly. ‘I already been with a whore.' ‘You're a
pretty strong boy. Move over a little.' ‘How about your broken arm?' ‘I'll take care
of that. It's not your worry.' Suddenly Charles laughed. "The poor bastard," he said, and
he threw blanket to receive her" (125). Cathy shows that she does not love Adam because
she goes and sleeps with his brother. This is showing that Cathy is rejecting

Adam's love and that she is filled with hatred. Another example of Cathy showing her
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