Analysis Of John Steinbeck 's ' East Of Eden ' Essay example

1081 Words Apr 11th, 2015 5 Pages
Thought Provoking Title East of Eden, by John Steinbeck, centers around the Hebrew word, “Timshel” that directly translates to “Thou mayest” - meaning that everyone has the ability to choose between good and evil. This word enforces the idea that God gave humans free will, and that they are in control of their actions and decisions. Steinbeck uses “Timshel” to psychologically influence the characters in the novel, mainly Cal, and make them question their destiny. Steinbeck also uses biblical symbolism and the juxtaposition of the Trask and Hamilton families to demonstrate the main theme of good versus evil. The moral theme of timshel, introduced by Adam’s housekeeper, Lee, is very complex and influences characters in the novel including Cal. One of the core ideas in East of Eden is that evil is an inherent and inevitable human problem. However, the novel also provides the hope that each and every individual has the power to overcome evil by his or her own decision. This underlying idea of free will is summarized by the Hebrew word timshel, which Lee the housekeeper, has done steady research on. Timshel directly translates to “thou mayest,” and is in the bible story of Cain and Abel, where God tells Cain that he can overcome sin if he so chooses. Lee believes that free will is central to the human condition and explains that, “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”…

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