Can Violence Ever Be Rationalized? Essay

1545 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 null Page
Can violence ever be rationalized? This proposition is in East of Eden, written by John Steinbeck, but also presents itself in life. The biblical telling of Cain and Abel is portrayed when the older brother, Charles aggressively assaults Adam. Once this occurs, one could instantly think that through the rest of the novel that Charles is shown to be evil and Adam is shown to be good. In this way Steinbeck’s story relates that all evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing. Also Steinbeck writes about this type of connection for two generations in the Trask family. If the children make the same mistakes as the parents there is no room for improvement, which just goes to show why this “evil” must be conquered for society and family history to improve.
In the process of convincing Adam to become a member of the army, for the benefits of turning him into a man, his father is stunned with the rebuttal from Adam “Why don’t you ask my brother?...He’ll be much better than I am”(27). Cyrus refutes that the army cannot give Charles something he already has. Cyrus also tells Adam that the army would unleash a side of Charles that “needs to be chained down”. Also, Cyrus gives up the subtle facts, “I love you better. Always have” (28). Charles then challenges Adam with what their father was discussing in respects Adam earlier that day. Seeing as how Charles is tough and Adam is gentle, Adam just evades the question and answers quick saying that they just talked about…

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