East Of Eden
In East of Eden, John Steinbeck explores man?s role in the battle of good versus evil. The story of the Trask family strongly mirrors the story of Cain and Abel in the Bible. Steinbeck questions throughout the novel whether or not the descendants of the Trask family, particularly Adam?s son Cal, can escape the pattern. Steinbeck expresses his opinion through Adam?s insightful Chinese servant, Lee. After much research, Lee tells Samuel Hamilton and Adam Trask:
Don?t you see The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ?Thou shalt,? meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel –?Thou mayest? ? that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ?Thou mayest? ? it is also true that ?Thou mayest not.? Don?t you see
In this passage, Steinbeck explores man?s role in the central theme of the novel, the battle between good and evil.
Lee?s thoughts about the story of
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