Yes the book contained death, fear, frustration, and many other depressing emotions. Yet, it also contained life. joy, happiness, love and all the other happy sappy things. And that seemed to be Steinbeck's purpose. In this complex story, Steinbeck wasn't just showing us the age old story of Cain and Abel, or even the myth of Pandora's box. This wasn't good vs. evil. This story protrays the spectrum of good to evil that exists in all of us. We are human, and to be human means that we are constructed from all of the good and bad emotions that are attached to humanity. Jealousy fear and hate, vie for supremacy over love, compassion, and courage. We must accept that those things exist not only in others but in ourselves as well. Once we can accept the world as it is, THEN we can work towards improving ourselves. We can recognize as Steinbeck's Cal did, that we are our "own kind of mean" and work to correct it. That is what this life is for, is it not? To work towards perfection, not that we will achieve it but that we can work towards it.
Tuesday, August 2
So I finished Steinbeck's East of Eden this evening. Prior to starting it for my literature class, I had been warned that it had a very depressing ending. Yet as I sit here this evening going over the last of the novel I am not depressed. As a matter of fact, I found the ending to be quite hopeful.