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East Of Eden BookMovie Comparison Essay Research

East Of Eden Book/Movie Comparison Essay, Research Paper

East of Eden: Book / Movie Explanation

John Steinbeck?s epic tale, East of Eden, is portrayed very accurately in Elia

Kazan?s film adaptation of the novel. Though the screen adaptation of East of Eden is an

excellent portrayal, one of the most probable reasons for deleting sections of the book

were constraints of time and money. Apparently the director?s choices to delete certain

sections of the book obviously did not affect the movie or the book?s plot line too greatly.

The director most probably felt that the backgrounds of Adam or Kate were not

necessary since in this movie the main theme circulated around Cal and Aron?s fight to win

their father?s love and attention. Elia Kazan probably also felt that the role of Lee, Samuel

Hamilton, and other supporting characters were not essential to the screenplay.

I do think that the director should have added a little insight and background to

Adam?s family such as his feeling of respect and not love toward his father Cyrus and, like

his own son?s situation, his brother, Charles?, jealousy over his father?s affection.

The last moments of the movie sum up and bring all the emotional conflicts of this

dysfunctional family to a heads in climatic and dramatic fashion. Cal believes that he will

finally aquire the love, appreciation and respect that he has craved for from his father,

through his gift of money. His father?s rejection only serves to convince him that further

attempts to gain his father?s approval are futile and that he truly must be evil as everyone

suspects. His brother?s rejection confirms his decision and he reacts by revealing his

mother?s identity to his brother Aron. Aron subsequently enlists in the armed forces and is

killed in Europe. Crushed by his favorite son?s death, Adam suffers a stroke and is

rendered comatose. In this passive state Cal is finally free to care for his father without

fear of rejection.

As in most cases a movie adaptation of a novel is never really as good as the

book, especially a book that is considered an epic and written by an author with such a

high caliber as Steinbeck, but this is one of the few examples where there is an excellent

effort and portrayal of all of the characters and of the central theme of the book.

Supporting characters such as Lee, Sam Hamilton, Charles, and other background

information would only have enhanced the film but were not essential.