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East of Eden...Ending?

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message 1: by Chatel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chatel Okay, I FINALLY read this great masterpiece and actually feel as I have the right to call it as such, but the ending is a tad confusing to me. What is the significance behind Adam's last word?

message 2: by Chatel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chatel Just had a light bulb moment! I have a whole new respect for Steinbeck...I was left hanging towards the end, but with some clarification everything comes together perfectly. Thanks for the insight!(because it's still fresh in my mind - Chinese dude...Lee)

message 3: by Amber (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amber yeah the whole idea is the freedom of choice humans have whether to do right or wrong. Cain obviously chose to do wrong in the bible after God told him he had a chose (by killing his brother). At the end Adam plays a God role by freeing his son with the word timshel. I wouldnt limit it so much as calling it the American character in a nutshell...I would instead universalize it for the whole freedom of humanity- which is even more brilliant.

message 4: by Jeannie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeannie Frazier East of Eden was good. I liked the plot. I just found Steinbeck too descriptive. He added in so many extra details that really were irrelevant to the plot. The novel should be condensed; the description cut. Often, it feels like he rambles.

message 5: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tiffany Laipply Are you kidding me? Steinbecks description in his writing is what makes the books for me. I have never so clearly seen a setting for a book as I have in his novels. THat is the BEST part!

message 6: by Lesley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesley I agree - Steinbeck's description is necessary, and extremely well written. I thought it faciliated the plot rather than being irrelevant.

An issue I found poignant was the fact that Adam never really questioned the paternity of his sons. If he did question it, we didn't know, and it was seemingly not an issue. When Kate tells him that they are Charles' sons, she is sure it will fester in Adam and confuse him. But it ends there. Is this for the reader to decide? Is this another example of choosing our lives over being a product of our parents?

message 7: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Michelle It is great that Adam was not affected by Kate goading him with the paternity of his sons - to Adam, they were his sons because he raised them.

It didn't matter who fathered them.

message 8: by Jessi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Jessi East of Eden is the only book that I can honestly say made me pissed off that the author didn't keep writing and writing and writing about those characters. I was seriously mad when I closed the book...I wanted about 3 more volumes.

message 9: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Good heavens, you must be a sucker for punishment.

message 10: by Adam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Adam Were you not paying attention to 75 pages in the middle of the book? They explained Timshel thoroughly as Lee and Samuel were also wrestling with the idea of man's choice of destinies.

message 11: by Jennifer (last edited Mar 14, 2008 11:50AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jennifer Hughes Amen to Message 10 above.

Melissa I too (like Lesley) found it so profound that Adam was strong enough and honest enough with himself to not care who fathered the twins, he was their father and that mattered most of all! He loved them and himself enough to be strong and realize it didn't matter. I was really touched by that.

Cathy/Kate is seriously the most despised and distrubing character I've ever read. Steinbeck is amazing in his character writing.

message 13: by JD (new) - rated it 4 stars

JD Brazil The great thing about Steinbeck is that he paints a picture and lets the reader pass judgment. You don't have some good against evil struggle, you just have "Here is what happened, and it is fascinating." There are only wasted descriptions if those descriptions did not play into your understanding. What one reader might see as inconsequential, another might see as important insight.

Pandora I loved that whole disscussion about the meaning of the story of Cain and Abel. I also loved that ending when Adam gives Caleb a way out. Great book. It was after reading this book that I explore more of Steinbeck writing. I had been turned off Steinbeck when I was forced to read The Pearl in eighth grade English. (It might be a good book but, this was not the time for us to read it) I am so glad though to have discovered Steinbeck. Oh, why do schools assign books to kill the enjoyment of reading? Even my teacher apologize for forcing The Pearl on us.

message 15: by JD (new) - rated it 4 stars

JD Brazil As a reading teacher I like to give my students options with their reading. Unfortunately, if the state standards don't specify which books we have to teach, the district usually will. Of course this isn't always the case--and probably isn't usually the case--but it happens more than you know.

message 16: by Rick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rick There are a few moments of violence, the worst of which being when a few unscrupulous types are given two to the head at the order of a crooked cop. Nudity and Sexuality do play a part in this series, but nothing is ever fully shown, and what is shown is quite literally whited out. The religious imagery in “Eden of the East” is there, but it’s not what anyone would consider as being sacrilegious. Overall, I would keep the kiddies away; this is a show for grown-ups

Victoria Elaine Custer I feel like I missed something at the ending there with Lee-- all that weird description where the house was "too feminine?" What was Steinbeck trying to say?

Monty J Heying Chatel wrote: "Okay, I FINALLY read this great masterpiece and actually feel as I have the right to call it as such, but the ending is a tad confusing to me. What is the significance behind Adam's last word?"


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