steinbeck’s genesis

thoughtsharing* by Rebecca Eneyni, ’19

I strongly recommend reading the book East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which I recently  read as part of my author thesis project. East of Eden follows the story of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, as their lives intersect across generations. John Steinbeck reenacts the fall of Adam and Eve and the rivalry between Cain and Abel. As generations of the family fall into the pitfalls of their ancestors, East of Eden proves the phrase, “History repeats itself.” In describing the two families, Steinbeck explores the power of jealousy and the moral conflicts that coincide with it. Moreover, Steinbeck examines the “blank slate theory” and whether or not a man’s genetics determines who he is as a person. Furthermore, East of Eden is both a tragedy and a triumph. Steinbeck empowers the human race by giving them the ability to choose their paths and his critical analysis of a single word in the book of Genesis proves this. Therefore, if you are looking for a book with a complex and intriguing plot that scrutinizes the human condition, I strongly suggest reading East of Eden.

Moreover, for me, East of Eden connected to my own experiences in life, allowing me to emotionally connect with both the victories and failures of the characters. Throughout the book, Steinbeck emphasizes the recurring themes of humanity. This particularly connected with me because he was able to accurately synthesize the actions of humans throughout their lives. Throughout the novel, he constantly raises the question “What drives and shapes the actions of humans?” Consequently, Steinbeck demonstrates the common mistakes across humanity in each of his characters and their encounters with both evil and good. Thus, the book profoundly impacted the way in which I see the world, for I can see the trends in the actions of my friends, family, and myself. In this way, East of Eden is more than a fictional book; it is the story of mankind.

* “Thoughtsharings” are pieces of art, usually writing, in which members of the Red Ink staff and Wellesley High School community share their ideas and beliefs, with a particular emphasis on people’s thoughts about events and circumstances surrounding their current lives. Check right here on our website for regular thoughtsharings! *


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