East of Eden Steinbeck - A wonderful novel with plenty of great characters and themes to discuss. Find out here what we enjoyed discussing.....
Firstly, given the many parodies to the story of Cain and Abel in the bible, you need to familiarise yourself:
Essentially, Cain and Abel are brothers and Cain is jealous that god approves of Abel's sacrificial offering. So, he kills Abel and then lies to god about it. Cain is exiled from paradise by god to a land East Of Eden
How is the story of East of Eden similar? Are the names significant?
Discuss the title of the book. Are the characters living East of Eden?
Discuss the character of Cathy? Is she born evil or does she choose to be evil? Is she too one dimensional as a character? Does she have any morals at all?
The narrator is a descendant of Samuel Hamilton. Why do you think Steinbeck picks the Hamilton family? What role do they play in the novel? Is the Narrator Steinbeck's voice?
Lee is another important character in the book and seems to be the voice of reason? What do you think?
As a parent, can you see how you could favour one child over another? Is it realistic that Adam could make the same mistake as his father?
Is sibling rivalry ever healthy?
Should Charles have done more to dissuade Adam from marrying Cathy?
How does Steinbeck use nature and the elements in East of Eden?
We loved this book and voted it as our best book for the year. It provoked a great discussion but we also all enjoyed reading it. Steinbeck is a descriptive writer that can develop characters to a T. It's rare to find a descriptive writer that can still make a book a real turn pager.
For ideas on themes, plot overview and our comments go toJohn Steinbeck East of Eden
Top of East of Eden Steinbeck
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