East of Eden by John SteinbeckIn his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
Adam Trask came to California from the East to farm and raise his family on the new rich land. But the birth of his twins, Cal and Aaron, brings his wife to the brink of madness, and Adam is left alone to raise his boys to manhood. One boy thrives nurtured by the love of all those around him; the other grows up in loneliness enveloped by a mysterious darkness.
First published in 1952, East of Eden is the work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of loves absence. A masterpiece of Steinbecks later years, East of Eden is a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis.
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He has written about mice and men , and some wrathful grapes , but in his novel East of Eden , John Steinbeck sets his sights a little higher and takes on the Book of Genesis. That's right—our man Steinbeck might have been writing in and based his story during that awkward time when the 19th century became the 20th, but his subject matter comes from way further back. But even though Steinbeck stepped into religious territory, Easy of Eden is still chock full of all the classic Steinbeck ingredients… by which we mean that it takes place in California's Central Valley.
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About pure hatrded and unconditional love. You will love all the characters of the novel,. You will love all the characters of the novel, every last one of them. You will love the storytelling power of John Steinbeck. You will love his way of representing hope, falsehood, sadness. And you will hate, as if you were under the effect of a sick addiction, the moment you finish the book. In my humble opinion this is the best Steinbeck.
The valley is a new world both idyllic and harsh, and Steinbeck sings to it with a personal nostalgia that is clouded by the knowledge that this valley-as all human dwellings-is the location for as much tragedy as triumph. The first family whose story is told in this novel is the Hamiltons, led by the charismatic poet-patriarch Samuel Hamilton, an Irish immigrant who raises a large and boisterous family on a mean and unyielding plot of land through charm, ingenuity, and adaptability. The children act out the numerous possibilities of American life, some making money in business and advertising, some seeking love and home life, others failing utterly in their struggle to find meaning and clarity in the chaotic possibility of a new century.
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In the late nineteenth century, a man named Samuel Hamilton settles in the Salinas Valley in northern California. He brings his strict but loving wife, Liza, with him from Ireland. Although Samuel is well respected in the community, he never becomes a wealthy man. The Hamiltons go on to have nine children and become a prominent family in the valley. Adam Trask, meanwhile, settles in the valley with his pregnant wife Cathy where he eventually becomes friends with Samuel Hamilton.
Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors. The Hamilton family in the novel is said to be based on the real-life family of Samuel Hamilton, Steinbeck's maternal grandfather. According to his third and last wife, Elaine , Steinbeck considered it his magnum opus. The story is primarily set in the Salinas Valley, California, between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of World War I, though some chapters are set in Connecticut and Massachusetts , and the story goes as far back as the American Civil War.
East of Eden , novel by John Steinbeck , published in With East of Eden Steinbeck hoped to reclaim his standing as a major novelist, but his broad depictions of good and evil come at the expense of subtlety in characterization and plot and it was not a critical success. Spanning the period between the American Civil War and the end of World War I , the novel highlights the conflicts of two generations of brothers, the first being the kind, gentle Adam Trask and his wild brother Charles. Adam eventually marries Cathy Ames, an evil, manipulative, and beautiful prostitute; she betrays him, joining Charles on the very night of their wedding. Later, after giving birth to twin boys, she shoots Adam and leaves him to return to her former profession.