English East of Eden Italiano The Salinas Valley is in Northern California It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey BayEast of Eden is a powerful novel, thick with biblical reference, in which the characters seem real and not fictional, protagonists of a generational saga about good and evil About pure hatrded and unconditional love 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 And also according to the author opinion, since he said that everything he did before was in preparation to this novel East of Eden is the Great American Novel.
Vote 10 La Valle del Salinas, nella California settentrionale, una lunga gola stretta tra due catene montuose il fiume si snoda e serpeggia nel centro, finch non si getta nella baia di MontereyLa Valle dell Eden un libro potente, denso di riferimenti biblici, nel quale muovono i passi personaggi che sembrano reali e non di finzione, protagonisti di una epopea generazionale sul bene e sul male Sull odio puro e sull a incondizionato Amerete tutti i personaggi di questo romanzo, dal primo all ultimo Amerete la capacit narrativa di John Steinbeck Amerete il suo modo di rappresentare la speranza, la falsit , la tristezza E odierete, come foste sotto l effetto di una morbosa dipendenza, il momento in cui avrete finito di leggere.
A mio modesto parere il miglior Steinbeck E anche a detta dello stesso autore, visto che afferm che tutto quanto fatto prima era solo in preparazione a questo romanzo E la Valle dell Eden il Grande Romanzo Americano.
Voto 10 In 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 AbelAdam 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 DarknessFirst Published In , 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 Love S Absence A Masterpiece Of Steinbeck S 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 Jacket Flap I hate this book Hate Ponderous, pretentious, melodramatic, self satisfied, patronizing to its readers, with ultimately nothing to say Can be summarized thus a bunch of people with no formal education whatsoever sit around discussing the time they read the Old Testament in Hebrew They then tell us all how to live Uhright I knew we were in trouble with the unbelievably lame introduction some forced, self congratulatory metaphor about a box, if memory serves but it s hard to believe it actually got worse from there In any event, with its smug aura of Here you will find WISDOM, it s certainly no wonder that it s right up Oprah s alley The fact that people worship this misbegotten mess of a book as they might worship pieces of the True Cross is just plain depressing Apparently the way to literary immortality is to give em a decent narrative, throw in some breathless nonsense about free will and the Bible, and don t forget to puff out your chest and tell everyone that you ve written a masterpiece Gack For this they gave him the Nobel Prize After deleting I don t know how many comments calling me names and getting several pieces of hate email, I m adding this addendum, because it will save both me and a bunch of other people from wasting time I ll delete any comments that I consider abusive or that I think constitute ad hominem arguments, so do keep that in mind if you re considering posting a long screed.
I have no words to describe what this novel did to my reading self It was my first Steinbeck, and it made me fall in love with his writing, his ideas, his cry for individual freedom and social justice It made me ache for goodness in a world of evil, and it made me respect the power of storytelling to explain the inexplicable difficulties of family life It was the first time I felt scared of a fictional character I don t think I have ever been so deeply shaken as by Cathy Kate, and she remains the villain with whom I compare all other literary villains And yet, she fascinated me, she was like a snake hypnotising a mouse, and she merged the mythical ideas of Eve and the serpent into one powerful person destructive and beautiful, exciting and dangerous Yet despite the biblical references which dominate the narrative, the monumental family saga has resemblance with a Greek tragedy than with a Christian tale facing the shame of failure, most characters choose to exit the stage rather than gaining redemption through suffering Their lifeline is the freedom of CHOICE, not dogmatic obedience And this I believe that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world And this I would fight for the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected And this I must fight against any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual This is what I am and what I am about Of all the books I don t have time to reread, this is the one that is tempting me most like a snake Eve pointing towards a shiny apple this is where you will find the knowledge of good and evil, and it is your choice if you read it or not It will make you shiver with fear and admiration for the human imagination Steinbeck s classic East of Eden is a masterpiece and one of his finest books It tells the history of Steinbeck s own family, the Hamiltons, and that of the Trask family The epic is set in Steinbeck s native Salinas Valley in California and the beauty of the region is described in endless, passionate detail.
The characters are all beautifully drawn and the story is captivating I ll add some quotes here before returning the book to the library, but it was extremely pleasurable to read cover to cover.
For example, concerning faith The proofs that God does not exist are vert strong, but in lots of people they are not as strong as the feeling that He does P.
69 Concerning monsters I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parentsTo a criminal, honesty is foolish You must not forget that a monster is only a variation, and that to a monster the norm is monstrous P.
71 On progress in our time,, mass or collective production has entered our economics, our politics, and even our religion, so that some nations have substituted the idea collective for the idea of God This in my time is the danger P.
131 On racism and dumbing down, Lee If I should go up to a lady or gentleman, for instance, and speak as I am doing now, I wouldn t be understoodPidgen they expect, pidgin they ll listen to But English from me they don t listen to, and so they don t understand it P.
161 Time flies The clock struck nine deliberate strokes and they were swallowed up P.
449 Frustration with time scheduling One thing late or early cab disturb everything around us, and the disturbance runs outward in bands like waves from a dropped stone in a quiet pool P.
530 East of Eden uses a plethora of Biblical analogies starting with that in the title referring to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden here Adam is expulsed from his home though it was hardly a paradise and thrust into the hell of a senseless war Like veterans of other senseless wars, he comes back to a civilization that does not appreciate or understand what he lived through and he lives maladjusted for most of the rest of his life His conflict with his brother Charles Note most of the major conflicts involve character names starting with an A Adam, Aron, Abra with character names starting with a C Charles, Cal, Catherine is epic and sets many of the books major themes into play rivalry over sex and power, jealousy, favoritism There are many parallels throughout the book to Biblical stories and repetitive behaviors This begs the question on whether anything is learned I would say that despite the tragedy at the end, Lee does give us a sense of progress by taking the long view It is significant that the last word in the book spoken by Adam is that which Lee and his Chinese scholars worked on together from Hebrew Timshel thou mayest.
Steinbeck was a masterful writer who beautifully evoked the Salinas Valley of his youth populating it with endearing and occasionally frightful characters that bring history alive I would have to reread Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, but East of Eden is certainly one of Steinbeck s best if not the very best.
East of Eden is a uniquely fragmented hotchpotch A fantastical fable, a retelling of the biblical tale of the original sin, a documented testimony of early settlers in the Salinas Valley through the perspective of three generations, a fictionalized biography of Steinbeck s own grandfather, a subversive political text, an essay that blends modern philosophy with ancient wisdom.
It s probable that Steinbeck s ambitious scope and his need to reach universal meaning might encumber the narration with some faults The pace, the tone and the structure are uneven The book starts off in the first person narrative, ostensibly Steinbeck himself, only to suddenly disappear and give way to an anonymous omniscient narrator Women appear opaque recipients of inherited constraint and duty Gender is a question to be typified.
American history is treated as a casual backdrop without cohesive continuity Racism is approached superficially and drawn to easy stereotyping Characters are not constricted by their roles Some of them remain indecipherable The causes that lead them to act a certain way are not fully acknowledged It s the moral dilemma and the consequences that matter, but it s precisely the freedom Steinbeck grants to his characters that enables the allegorical quality of this tale to take its direct flight to the reader s heart Truth is I couldn t have cared less about the formal delivery of this book My heart surrendered willingly and was bleeding from the first page.
Because it is Steinbeck s aim that is faultless.
Because his ideals, which refuse to be pigeonholed by religion, double morale or self complacency, and sincere passion shine through the naked, earnest prose that makes the stories of the Trasks and the Hamiltons a powerful parable that pulsates with unwavering faith in humanity Steinbeck reconstructs the architecture of the human spirit with all its weaknesses and cruelties, defies dogmatic predeterminism and elevates his characters struggles beyond any restrictive literary scheme In placing the responsibility of the actions on human beings instead of an almighty presence, he is challenging the reader to call into question his own beliefs on fate, free will and guilt.
Hatred, envy, revenge, self doubts and misguided fears haunt the heroes of this story, and they fight the dehumanizing effects of such visceral feelings with the only weapon Steinbeck approves of love Love in the widest sense of the word Fraternal, filial, platonic, romantic Much can be achieved if one is courageous enough to love even when rejection shatters wistful expectations A childless man can have a daughter, genetic predisposition can be overpowered, instinctive meanness controlled, the gravest crime can be forgiven So many questions and no certain answers In all his wisdom, Steinbeck exposes his high principles and allows the reader to decide for himself The possibility to choose, to pick this path or the other when we are at a crossroads is the most precious gift we are given along with life We cannot choose to be made part of this world, of this bewildering place we seldom understand, but we can exert our goodwill and trust that others will do the same Love might cripple us, might make us fragile and defenseless, but it is the only way to reach the end of the journey without regret or remorse Exile can t befall on us if we dare to love Paradise might not exist, but Steinbeck proves that loving others selflessly is the safe path to save us from ourselves.
Adam Trask was a weak but kind boy and later man, his father treated him quite badly even his jealous, sadistic half brother younger but stronger hit him repeatedly , barely surviving one brutal vicious fight Born in the middle of the American Civil War, in a Connecticut farm he and brother Charles are turned into good little soldiers at a very tender age Cyrus their father lost a leg in the war, boasting of being in every major battle which is physically impossible In fact the private was only in a blue uniform six months, getting his appendage shot off during the first day of his first battle But Cyrus becomes such a good liar, that people begin to actually believe him as he, does as well Yet writing marvelous but fictional war articles, in the major American newspapers Consequently he receives a job with the Grand Army of the Republic an influential veterans group of Union soldiers, in Washington His first wife commits suicide, the second dies of illness let s say Cyrus was not a very lovable person Adam is forced by his father at sixteen, to join the army to make him a man and save his hide from Charles Running down the few scattered renegade Indians in the plain states, Adam hates his job still does it bravely and well When the father dies both boys inherit a vast sum of money, was their father not only a liar but also a thief Out of the military good Adam marries a woman of ill repute Cathy, a lady so evil that Satan would be ashamed to be associated with her Adam buys a farm in northern California s rugged Salinas Valley , Cathy gives birth to twin boys non identical Caleb Cal and Aaron Aron , shoots Adam and abandons the newborns Not mother of the year material, the wife s manners could also be improved Cathy takes up residence in a home which you can guess what kind it is, but Adam lives and goes into a deep funk Lee the much loved Chinese servant, takes over and raises the kids better than the moody, distant, bitter father could ever do Thoughts This story is an allegory of the Bible s Adam and Eve , being thrown out of The Garden of Eden but also about wicked Cain and his good brother, Abel Steinbeck was born in the frontier town of Salinas the Old West was still alive, the few settlers struggled to make a living in the harsh land The world changed forever, as the book says when the year 1900 arrived, Ladies were not ladies any and you couldn t trust a gentleman s word Sam Hamilton a neighbor of Adam and soon friend, was different like a Patriarch out of the Bible with his nine children, wise and tough but not practical thus always poor Nevertheless these people are needed as Steinbeck believes, to give guidance to others, which is very lacking today.
The author s most ambitious and his favorite work Love and lots of hate, much conflict and a little peace all there Sam Hamilton was the writer s grandfather.
This book is mind blowing It is John Steinbeck at his sharpest He said that every author really only has one book, and that all of his books leading up to East of Eden were just practice Eden would be his book I could write a summary of the book, but it would be trouble than it s worth You will often hear it referred to as a modern retelling of the Genesis story of Cain and Abel but that is too simplistic Steinbeck takes the story of Cain and Abel and makes Cain in the form of Cal Trask the sympathetic character Cal Trask does not act destructively for the sake of destruction, but he is desperately clawing for approval and love from his father, Adam, who prefers Cal s twin brother, Aron The story isn t that pat, though Cal and Aron really don t make their entrances as major characters until the last quarter of the 600 page novel So, to say that this book is simply the retelling of Cain and Abel is to oversimplify the book The main theme of the book is the desire within everyone for love, and how this desire can make people turn to destructive behavior This book has been criticized for being too verbose, meandering, inconsistently paced, and heavy handed in its parallel with the story of Cain and Abel Yes, it is verbose and meandering, but that s Steinbeck It gives a full picture of the Salinas valley It gives you insights and perspectives you might not otherwise have If anything, Steinbeck s constant forays into unrelated sidebars give the reader a break in pace, a rest that makes the important parts of the books feel as though they flow smoothly As for the parallel with Cain and Abel, it is heavy handed That being said, the heavy handedness didn t bother me Going in to the novel with the expectation of it being a retelling of Cain and Abel at least for some of the narrative is enough to make the obvious references to Cain and Abel seem natural If Steinbeck had given the impression that he was trying to hide the parallel, it would have been insulting But Steinbeck isn t trying to hide it he makes it clear that the story of Cain and Abel are an integral part of his story East of Eden is an amazing novel Its strong points than compensate for the very few shortcomings Steinbeck is such a tremendous writer that his shortcomings become strengths I highly recommend it.
It is like a high priced, high quality buffet with lots of different stations At each of those stations is a main table with an awesome featured food thick cut prime rib, chocolate fondue fountain, Mongolian BBQ bowl, etc In layman s terms, there is SO MUCH awesome story here with a HUGE payoff every 50 pages or so I am very satisfied with the story I got full of literature Oh, and this book has one of the most heartless and despicable villains ever put on paper I recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a decent story told very well This has solidified with me that Steinbeck is a literary genius cannot be denied