PENGUIN BOOKSEAST OF EDEN John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in The town is a few miles from the Pa. PENGUIN BOOKS EAST OF EDEN John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, in The town is a few miles from the Pa. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS. CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA. Steinbeck, John, East of Eden. I. Title. [podmimokongist.ml ] [PST].
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PDF | The paper represents a reader's form of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden". It includes a thorough analysis with exact quotes of the main. East of Eden. Pages·· MB· Downloads. JOHN STEINBECK – EAST OF EDEN. 2. BY JOHN STEINBECK. FICTION. Cup of Gold. The Pastures. In his journal, John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it First published in , East of Eden is the work in which Steinbeck created his.
They were honorable and reasonable.
Her father abetted the courtship. He had two younger daughters, and Alice, the eldest, was seventeen. This was her first proposal. Cyrus wanted a woman to take care of Adam. He needed someone to keep house and cook, and a servant cost money. He was a vigorous man and needed the body of a woman, and that too cost money—unless you were married to it. Within two weeks Cyrus had wooed, wedded, bedded, and impregnated her.
His neighbors did not find his action hasty. It was quite normal in that day for a man to use up three or four wives in a normal lifetime. Alice Trask had a number of admirable qualities. She was a deep scrubber and a corner-cleaner in the house.
She was not very pretty, so there was no need to watch her. Her eyes were pale, her complexion sallow, and her teeth crooked, but she was extremely healthy and never complained during her pregnancy. Whether she liked children or not no one ever knew. She was not asked, and she never said anything unless she was asked. She never offered any opinion or statement, and when a man was talking she gave a vague impression of listening while she went about doing the housework.
The youth, inexperience, and taciturnity of Alice Trask all turned out to be assets for Cyrus. While he continued to operate his farm as such farms were oper-ated in the neighborhood, he entered on a new career—that of the old soldier.
And that energy which had made him wild now made him thoughtful. No one now outside of the War Department knew the quality and duration of his service. Timidly he began to tell Alice about his campaigns, but as his technique grew so did his battles. At the very first he knew he was lying, but it was not long before he was equally sure that every one of his stories was true.
Before he had entered the service he had not been much interested in warfare; now he bought every book about war, read every report, subscribed to the New York papers, studied maps. His knowledge of geogra-phy had been shaky and his information about the fighting nonexistent; now he became an authority. He knew not only the battles, movements, campaigns, but also the units involved, down to the regiments, their colonels, and where they originated. And from telling he became convinced that he had been there.
All of this was a gradual development, and it took place while Adam was growing to boyhood and his young half-brother behind him. Adam and little Charles would sit silent and respectful while their father explained how every general thought and planned and where they had made their mistakes and what they should have done. And then—he had known it at the time—he had told Grant and McClellan where they were wrong and had begged them to take his analysis of the situation.
Invariably they refused his advice and only afterward was he proved right. There was one thing Cyrus did not do, and perhaps it was clever of him. He never once promoted himself to noncommissioned rank. Private Trask he began, and Private Trask he remained. In the total telling, it made him at once the most mobile and ubiquitous private in the history of warfare. It made it necessary for him to be in as many as four places at once.
But perhaps instinctively he did not tell those stories close to each other. Alice and the boys had a complete picture of him: a private soldier, and proud of it, who not only hap-pened to be where every spectacular and important action was taking place but who wandered freely into staff meetings and joined or dissented in the decisions of general officers.
The death of Lincoln caught Cyrus in the pit of the stomach. Always he remembered how he felt when he first heard the news. And he could never mention it or hear of it without quick tears in his eyes. When Mr. Lincoln wanted to know about the army, the real army, not those prancing dummies in gold braid, he turned to Private Trask. How Cyrus managed to make this understood without saying it was a triumph of insinuation.
No one could call him a liar. And this was mainly because the lie was in his head, and any truth coming from his mouth carried the color of the lie. Quite early he began to write letters and then articles about the conduct of the war, and his conclusions were intelligent and convincing. Indeed, Cyrus developed an excellent military mind. His criticisms both of the war as it had been conducted and of the army organization as it persisted were irresistibly penetrating.
His articles in various magazines attracted attention. His letters to the War Department, printed simultaneously in the newspapers, began to have a sharp effect in decisions on the army. Perhaps if the Grand Army of the Repub-lic had not assumed political force and direction his voice might not have been heard so clearly in Washing-ton, but the spokesman for a block of nearly a million men was not to be ignored.
And such a voice in mili-tary matters Cyrus Trask became. It came about that he was consulted in matters of army organization, in officer relationships, in personnel and equipment. His expertness was apparent to everyone who heard him.
He had a genius for the military. More than that, he was one of those responsible for the organization of the G. After several unpaid offices in that organization, he took a paid secretaryship which he kept for the rest of his life.
He traveled from one end of the country to the other, attending conventions, meetings, and encamp-ments. So much for his public life. His private life was also laced through with his new profession. He was a man devoted. His house and farm he organized on a military basis.
He demanded and got reports on the conduct of his private economy. It is probable that Alice preferred it this way. She was not a talker. A terse report was easiest for her. She was busy with the growing boys and with keeping the house clean and the clothes washed. Also, she had to conserve her energy, though she did not mention this in any of her reports. Without warning her energy would leave her, and she would have to sit down and wait until it came back. In the night she would be drenched with perspi-ration.
She knew perfectly well that she had what was called consumption, would have known even if she was not reminded by a hard, exhausting cough.
And she did not know how long she would live. Some people wasted on for quite a few years. He had devised a method for dealing with sick-ness which resembled punishment. A stomach ache was treated with a purge so violent that it was a wonder anyone survived it. If she had mentioned her condition, Cyrus might have started a treatment which would have killed her off before her consumption could have done it.
Besides, as Cyrus became more military, his wife learned the only technique through which a soldier can survive. She never made herself noticeable, never spoke unless spoken to, performed what was expected and no more, and tried for no promotions. She became a rear rank private. It was much easier that way. Alice retired to the background until she was barely visible at all.
It was the little boys who really caught it. Cyrus had decided that even though the army was not perfect, it was still the only honorable profession for a man. He mourned the fact that he could not be a permanent soldier because of his wooden leg, but he could not imagine any career for his sons except the army. He felt a man should learn soldiering from the ranks, as he had.
Then he would know what it was about from experience, not from charts and textbooks. He taught them the manual of arms when they could barely walk. By the time they were in grade school, close- order drill was as natural as breathing and as hateful as hell. He kept them hard with exercises, beating out the rhythm with a stick on his wooden leg. He made them walk for miles, carrying knapsacks loaded with stones to make their shoulders strong. He worked constantly on their marksmanship in the woodlot behind the house.
The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck.
It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. It is an aching kind of growing. Adam found his father out. He had always hated the discipline, as every normal ani-mal does, but it was just and true and inevitable as measles, not to be denied or cursed, only to be hated. The techniques and training were not de-signed for the boys at all but only to make Cyrus a great man. And the same click in the brain told Adam that his father was not a great man, that he was, indeed, a very strong-willed and concentrated little man wearing a huge busby.
Who knows what causes this—a look in the eye, a lie found out, a moment of hesitation? Young Adam was always an obedient child. Some-thing in him shrank from violence, from contention, from the silent shrieking tensions that can rip at a house. He contributed to the quiet he wished for by offering no violence, no contention, and to do this he had to retire into secretness, since there is some vio-lence in everyone.
He covered his life with a veil of vagueness, while behind his quiet eyes a rich full life went on. This did not protect him from assault but it allowed him an immunity.
Young Charles won all contests with Adam whether they involved skill, or strength, or quick intelligence, and won them so easily that quite early he lost interest and had to find his competition among other children. Thus it came about that a kind of affection grew up between the two boys, but it was more like an associa-tion between brother and sister than between brothers. Charles fought any boy who challenged or slurred Adam and usually won.
Charles felt for his brother the affection one has for helpless things, for blind puppies and new babies. Adam looked out of his covered brain—out the long tunnels of his eyes—at the people of his world: His father, a one-legged natural force at first, installed justly to make little boys feel littler and stupid boys aware of their stupidity; and then—after god had crashed—he saw his father as the policeman laid on by birth, the officer who might be circumvented, or fooled, but never challenged.
And it would no more have occurred to Adam to confide in his brother—to tell him the hunger, the gray dreams, the plans and silent pleasures that lay at the back of the tunneled eyes—than to share his thoughts with a lovely tree or a pheasant in flight. Toward Alice Trask, Adam concealed a feeling that was akin to a warm shame.
She was not his mother—that he knew because he had been told many times. Not from things said but from the tone in which other things were said, he knew that he had once had a mother and that she had done some shameful thing, such as forgetting the chickens or missing the target on the range in the woodlot.
And as a result of her fault she was not here. Adam thought sometimes that if he could only find out what sin it was she had committed, why, he would sin it too—and not be here. Alice treated the boys equally, washed them and fed them, and left everything else to their father, who had let it be known clearly and with finality that training the boys physically and mentally was his exclusive province. Even praise and reprimand he would not delegate. Alice never complained, quarreled, laughed, or cried.
Her mouth was trained to a line that concealed nothing and offered nothing too. But once when Adam was quite small he wandered silently into the kitchen. Alice did not see him. She was darning socks and she was smiling. Adam retired secretly and walked out of the house and into the woodlot to a sheltered place behind a stump that he knew well.
He settled deep between the protecting roots. Adam was as shocked as though he had come upon her naked.
He breathed excitedly, high against his throat. For Alice had been naked— she had been smiling. He wondered how she had dared such wantonness. And he ached toward her with a longing that was passionate and hot.
He did not know what it was about, but all the long lack of holding, of rocking, of caressing, the hunger for breast and nipple, and the softness of a lap, and the voice-tone of love and compassion, and the sweet feeling of anxiety—all of these were in his passion, and he did not know it because he did not know that such things existed, so how could he miss them?
Of course it occurred to him that he might be wrong, that some misbegotten shadow had fallen across his face and warped his seeing. And so he cast back to the sharp picture in his head and knew that the eyes were smiling too. Twisted light could do one or the other but not both. He stalked her then, game-wise, as he had the wood-chucks on the knoll when day after day he had lain lifeless as a young stone and watched the old wary chucks bring their children out to sun.
He spied on Alice, hidden, and from unsuspected eye-corner, and it was true. Sometimes when she was alone, and knew she was alone, she permitted her mind to play in a garden, and she smiled. And it was wonderful to see how quickly she could drive the smile to earth the way the woodchucks holed their children. Adam concealed his treasure deep in his tunnels, but he was inclined to pay for his pleasure with something.
At first Alice was startled, but then that passed, and when she found some unsuspected present the garden smile flashed and disappeared the way a trout crosses a knife of sunshine in a pool. She asked no questions and made no com-ment. Her coughing was very bad at night, so loud and disturbing that Cyrus had at last to put her in another room or he would have got no sleep.
But he did visit her very often—hopping on his one bare foot, steady-ing himself with hand on wall. As Adam grew he feared one thing more than any other. He feared the day he would be taken and en-listed in the army. His father never let him forget that such a time would come.
He spoke of it often. It was Adam who needed the army to make a man of him. Charles was pretty near a man already. And Charles was a man, and a dangerous man, even at fifteen, and when Adam was sixteen.
It hap-pened that one evening the boys were playing peewee, a new game to them, in the dooryard. A small pointed stick was laid on the ground, then struck near one end with a bat. The small stick flew into the air and then was batted as far as possible. Adam was not good at games. But by some accident of eye and timing he beat his brother at peewee. Four times he drove the peewee farther than Charles did. The fifth time he drove the peewee it flew humming like a bee far out in the field.
He turned happily to face Charles and suddenly he froze deep in his chest. Charles moved slowly toward Adam, his eyes cold and noncommittal.
Adam edged away in terror. He did not dare to turn and run for his brother could outrun him. He backed slowly away, his eyes frightened and his throat dry. Charles moved close and struck him in the face with his bat. Adam covered his bleeding nose with his hands, and Charles swung his bat and hit him in the ribs, knocked the wind out of him, swung at his head and knocked him out.
And as Adam lay unconscious on the ground Charles kicked him heavily in the stomach and walked away. After a while Adam became conscious. He breathed shallowly because his chest hurt. He tried to sit up and fell back at the wrench of the torn muscles over his stomach. He saw Alice looking out, and there was something in her face that he had never seen before.
He did not know what it was, but it was not soft or weak, and it might be hatred. She saw that he was looking at her, dropped the curtains into place, and disappeared. When Adam finally got up from the ground and moved, bent over, into the kitchen, he found a basin of hot water standing ready for him and a clean towel beside it. He could hear his stepmother coughing in her room.
Charles had one great quality. He was never sorry—-ever. He never mentioned the beating, apparently never thought of it again. He had always felt the danger in his brother, but now he understood that he must never win unless he was prepared to kill Charles. Charles was not sorry. He had very simply fulfilled himself. Charles did not tell his father about the beating, and Adam did not, and surely Alice did not, and yet he seemed to know.
In the months that followed he turned a gentleness on Adam. His speech became softer toward him. He did not punish him any more. Almost nightly he lectured him, but not violently.
And Adam was more afraid of the gentleness than he had been at the violence, for it seemed to him that he was be-ing trained as a sacrifice, almost as though he was being subjected to kindness before death, the way victims intended to the gods were cuddled and flattered so that they might go happily to the stone and not outrage the gods with unhappiness.
Cyrus explained softly to Adam the nature of a soldier. And though his knowledge came from research rather than experience, he knew and he was accurate. He told his son of the sad dignity that can belong to a soldier, how he is necessary in the light of all the failures of man—the penalty of our frailties. Perhaps Cyrus discovered these things in himself as he told them.
It was very different from the flag-waving, shouting bellicosity of his younger days. The humilities are piled on a soldier, so Cyrus said, in order that he may, when the time comes, be not too resentful of the final humility—a meaningless and dirty death. And Cyrus talked to Adam alone and did not permit Charles to listen. Cyrus took Adam to walk with him one late after-noon, and the black conclusions of all of his study and his thinking came out and flowed with a kind of thick terror over his son.
Look now—in all of history men have been taught that killing of men is an evil thing not to be countenanced. Any man who kills must be destroyed because this is a great sin, maybe the worst sin we know. Go out and kill as many of a certain kind or classification of your brothers as you can. And we will reward you for it because it is a violation of your early training.
And you must not expect to find that people understand what they do. So many things are done instinctively, the way a bee makes honey or a fox dips his paws in a stream to fool dogs.
When I knew you had to go I thought to leave the future open so you could dig out your own findings, and then it seemed better if I could protect you with the little I know. The whole machine devotes itself coldly to the destruction of his difference.
They only do it to protect themselves. A man who can accept it is not a worse man always, and sometimes is a much better man. Pay good heed to me for I have thought long about it. Some men there are who go down the dismal wrack of soldiering, surrender themselves, and become faceless.
But these had not much face to start with. But there are others who go down, submerge in the common slough, and then rise more themselves than they were, because—because they have lost a littleness of vanity and have gained all the gold of the company and the regiment.
If you can go down so low, you will be able to rise higher than you can conceive, and you will know a holy joy, a companionship almost like that of a heavenly company of angels.
Then you will know the quality of men even if they are inarticulate. But until you have gone way down you can never know this. I used to hide between the roots on the far side. After you punished me I used to hide there, and sometimes I went there just because I felt bad.
Adam led him to it, and Cyrus looked down at the nestlike hole between the roots. See how the earth is tamped and the little grass is torn? And while you sat in there you stripped little pieces of bark to shreds. I knew it was the place when I came upon it. You can drive a human too far. Always you must leave a man one escape before death.
Remember that! I knew, I guess, how hard I was pressing you. I want to tell you that a soldier gives up so much to get something back. He starts with that great instinct, and everything confirms it. And then he is a soldier and he must learn to violate all of this—he must learn coldly to put himself in the way of losing his own life without going mad.
But if you can bring yourself to face not shadows but real death, described and recognizable, by bullet or saber, arrow or lance, then you need never be afraid again, at least not the same way you were before. Then you will be a man set apart from other men, safe where other men may cry in terror. This is the great reward. Maybe this is the only reward. Maybe this is the final purity all ringed with filth.
Charles will be going. To put him in an army would be to let loose things which in Charles must be chained down, not let loose. I would not dare to let him go. His father did not reply. He walked on out of the woodlot, and his head hung down so that his chin rested on his chest, and the rise and fall of his hip when his wooden leg struck the ground was monotonous. The wooden leg made a side semicircle to get ahead when its turn came.
It was completely dark by now, and the golden light of the lamps shone out from the open kitchen door. Alice came to the doorway and peered out, looking for them, and then she heard the uneven footsteps ap-proaching and went back to the kitchen. Cyrus walked to the kitchen stoop before he stopped and raised his head. You have no proper fierceness. You let other people walk over you.
Does that answer your question? I love you better. I always have. Else why would I have given myself the trouble of hurting you? Now shut your mouth and go to your supper. My leg aches.
The quiet was disturbed only by the slup of soup and gnash of chewing, and his father waved his hand to try to drive the moths away from the chimney of the kerosene lamp. Adam thought his brother watched him secretly. And he caught an eye flash from Alice when he looked up suddenly.
After he had finished eating Adam pushed back his chair. Charles stood up. This is not your affair. The boys walked down the dark rutty road. Ahead they could see a few pinched lights where the village was. Charles moved close to him.
I saw you walking together. What did he say? He took as deep a gulp of air as he could and held it to push back at the fear. Maybe she took a look at you. He was silent. Adam backed away, but carefully, as one backs away from a snake. Do you ever see him use it?
Paperback 2 —. download the Ebook: Also in Penguin Orange Collection. Also by John Steinbeck. See all books by John Steinbeck. About John Steinbeck John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in , grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about 25 miles from the Pacific Coast. Product Details.
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In the beginning of East of Eden, before introducing his characters, Steinbeck carefully establishes the setting with a description of the Salinas Valley in Central California. Then he outlines the story of the warmhearted inventor and farmer Samuel Hamilton and his wife Liza, immigrants from Ireland. He describes how they raise their nine children on a rough, infertile piece of land.
As the Hamilton children begin to grow up and leave the nest, a wealthy stranger, Adam Trask, downloads the best ranch in the Valley. Adam's life is seen in a long, intricate flashback. We see his tumultuous childhood on a farm in Connecticut and the brutal treatment he endured from his younger but stronger half-brother, Charles.
Adam and Charles's father, Cyrus, was a Union Civil War veteran who was wounded in his very first battle and unable or perhaps unwilling to return to service; he nonetheless becomes an expert " armchair general " who uses his intellectual knowledge of military affairs and wounded-veteran status to become a military adviser in Washington, D. As a young man, Adam spent his time first in the military and then wandering the country.
He was caught for vagrancy , escaped from a chain gang , and burgled a store for clothing to use as a disguise. Adam later sends money to the store to pay for the clothes and damage. Charles is torn with fear that Cyrus did not come by the money honestly. A parallel story introduces a girl named Cathy Ames , who grows up in a town not far from the brothers' family farm.
Cathy is described as having a "malformed soul"; she is evil and delights in using and destroying people. She leaves home one evening after setting fire to her family's home, killing both of her parents.
She becomes a whoremaster's mistress, but he beats her viciously upon realizing that she is using him and leaves her to die on Adam and Charles's doorstep.
Charles sees through Cathy's facade. Adam falls obsessively and irrationally in love, and marries her. However, unbeknownst to Adam, Cathy seduces Charles at the time of her marriage and falls pregnant with twins, leaving open the question of whether Adam or Charles is the twins' father.
She attempts and fails at a primitive abortion with a knitting needle. Adam — newly wed and newly rich — now arrives in California and settles with the pregnant Cathy in the Salinas Valley, near the Hamilton family ranch. Cathy neither wants to be a mother nor to stay in California.