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East Of Eden And Rejection Essay

1211 words - 5 pages

Becky Liao Mrs. BramlettAP English Literature and CompositionPeriod 410 September 2014Father: East of Eden essay #2Paternal rejection is at the very heart of John Steinbeck's 1952 magnum opus, East of Eden. Steinbeck, who had faced abandonment at the hands of his own father, infused East of Eden with his memories of pain and anguish over countless years of neglect. Incidentally, many of the traumatic events from Steinbeck's childhood share parallels with the plot of East of Eden, such as how failed business ventures and crippling depression distanced both Steinbeck's father and Adam Trask from their own children. Thus, the theme of rejection remains an unrelenting presence that permeates ...view middle of the document...

45). However, this violent attack against Adam has truly exiled Charles from the eyes of his father, as Charles "cannot return home for weeks" due to Cyrus' unimaginable fury at Charles for harming his favorite son (p. 47). This alone completely demonstrates the degree of Cyrus' favoritism and his rejection of Charles. Even into adulthood, Adam wins Cyrus' love. Cyrus, who has not seen both of his sons for many years, invites Adam, but not Charles, to Washington D.C. and offers him enrollment at West Point. Despite Charles' longing for his father's acceptance, he has always endured arbitrary rejection when compared to his older brother in East of Eden.Rejection and anger in the second generation of the Trasks progresses in very much the same manner as it did in the first generation. Despite Lee's advice of how "the greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears… with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection", Adam, the father of the twins Cal and Aron, unconsciously follows in his father's footsteps by arbitrarily favoring one of his sons over the other (Steinbeck, p. 270). However, as a child, Cal quickly realizes how "Aron drew love from every side", and also how "no one liked Cal very much", so he resolves to remedy the exile he encounters from both his father and society by becoming more like his brother (p. 200). In fact, Cal has a greater desire to be loved and accepted than Charles ever did, pleading "Dear Lord, let me be like Aron...if you will let everybody like me, why, I'll give you anything in the world" (p. 423). Cal is also deeply concerned about his own goodness and morality, especially when he becomes informed about the malignant nature of his mother, and the possible rejection he may receive through the sinful and evil aspects of his personality. However, despite his lifelong struggle to fight the sin within his blood, and to become more like his widely beloved brother, Cal still faces complete...

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