East of Eden by John Steinbeck is an optimistic film about a boy becoming a man and trying desperately to earn the love of his father and mother in the troubled times of the Great Depression. Cal, the main character is a troubled teen who lives with his entrepreneur father, and a brother who is following closely in his fathers steps. Cal's mother left him and his brother to become a madam of a whorehouse. The struggle takes place between Cal and his father due to his fathers lack of compassion for his son. The conflict rises further when Cal tries to help his father repay a debt, his father further isolates his son and this turns to violent outbursts. Steinbeck focuses on Cal in order to suggest the theme that without love people become violent and mean.
Steinbeck shows Cals isolation from love and its aggressive results when Cal angrily throws stones at his mothers house. When Cal first learns of his supposedly dead mothers existence he is outraged and goes to seek her. When he is not allowed to see her he violently throws stones and yells "Why can't a kid see his own mother?" and "Why cannot I see my mother". This is the first of several violent actions taken by Cal in an effort to be redeemed by his parents affections. His actions, although violent, are a symbol of his not being loved and the isolation he feels towards his family. In the scene where Cal tries to confer with his mother it is also learned that his mother does not want to have any contact with her children.
Steinbeck shows Cals isolation from love, and its violent repercussions again when Cal reacts to his brothers lack of compassion for him with violence and destruction. In the scene when Cal is spying on his brother Aaron and his brothers girlfriend, he is outraged by the things his brother has to say and he decides to throw large blocks of his fathers ice out of the barn. This sole action shows how childlike Cal has remained due to his isolation from his families love....
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