East of Eden
East of Eden is a classic tale that incorporates many themes and motifs within the storyline. Throughout the film, Steinbeck makes numerous references about good versus evil. The characters Cal and Aaron Trask are based upon the biblical characters Cain and Abel. Aaron represents everything good while everyone considers Cal “bad.” The film starts off with Cal finding out a deep family secret. Adam Trask is a farmer, the war draft board chairman as well as Cal and Aaron’s father. In the story, he obviously favors Aaron more than Cal. He seems to have full confidence that Aaron will succeed in his life. However, when it comes to Cal he isn’t really sure who he is. The story takes a dramatic twist and Cal shows that even the “baddest” have some good in them.
The recurring theme within the story is the comparison between good versus evil. While Aaron represents everything good, Cal believes he was born “bad”. He believes that Aaron got his fathers side while he obtained his mothers personality. When he finally meets his mother, Cal learns that she shot and left Adam. While Aaron seems to be ideal son, Cal soon begins to start doing some good. For example, he wanted to repay his father the money he lost in a bad business deal. While he does raise the money with help from his mother, his father ultimately rejects the gift. Aaron’s girlfriend, Abra, is initially scared of Cal. She only sees the bad in him. However, she later develops feelings for Cal rather than Aaron. This causes Aaron to hastily enlist in the military.
Adam’s acceptance of him is Cal’s biggest desire. Adam has always viewed Aaron as a better person and son. Cal feels he is misunderstood and is often jealous of Aaron. Cal and Aaron are based off biblical characters and in many ways Adam seems to portray God. He is perceived as a caring father figure. When Cal offers his father the money he lost, Adam rejects it. However, when Aaron...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document