East Of Eden Essay, Research Paper
The American Heritage Dictionary defines jealousy as apprehensive of losing affection or position; Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious. Throughout the novel of East of Eden there are many unfortunate incidents which happen that are caused by anger, hatred, and wickedness. Anger, hatred, and wickedness are all fruits of jealousy. They are the children of jealousy that grow into teenagers, wild and out of control*. Steinbeck shows through series of events that jealousy leads to sin (the transgression of a religious or moral law) because it is the root cause of all evil.
Charles gets furious with Adam when he senses that his father, Cyrus, loves his brother more. One evening after Adam comes out from one of his daily chats with his dad, the two brothers go out for a walk. Charles asks Adam what the two of them were doing. Adam replies that they were just talking. Charles doesn t believe him. Didn t look like that to me, Charles said suspiciously. I saw him leaning close, talking the way he talk to me-not telling, talking Charles cried, you re trying to take him away! I don t know how you re going about it. What do you think your doing? (Chapter 3 section 4 Pp. 37-38). Charles get as mad as a bull and beats up Adam severely. Charles runs off. As Adam lays on the ground half conscious he hears footsteps coming toward him again. He quickly drags himself into the water. He sees his enraged brother come back with a hatchet in his hand. Charles thinks Adam trying to steal his father and starts to believe Cyrus loves Adam more. Charles feels rejected and a feeling of jealousy comes over him. He beats his brother up and wants to kill him. One of Ten Commandments is the prohibition of murder. Charles had murder in his eyes. He would have murdered his brother if he had found him. The actions of Charles were caused by jealousy. Jealousy caused him to loose his self-control and just go out of control. He would have killed to relieve his anger. Therefore he would have sinned by killing Adam.
Charles came close to killing his brother, but now his jealousy leads him to breaking another of the Ten Commandments. The Trask brothers didn t show too much interest to settle down and have a family until Cathy shows up at their doorstep all beat up. Adam takes care of her and falls in love with her. He wants to marry her. One night Cathy tricks Adam into taking her medicine and Adam sleeps like a baby. She sneaks into Charles bed. He breathed harshly. I already been with a whore. You re a pretty strong boy, Move over little. How about your broken am? I ll take care of that. Its not your worry. Suddenly Charles laughed, The poor bastard, he said, and he threw back the blanket to receive her. (Chapter 11 section 5 P.163) Charles sleeps with Cathy and had no objection when Cathy came over and hopped into his bed. He knows that Adam likes her. Charles is jealous that he can t get a women. He get jealous and sleeps with his brother s soon to be wife. One of the commandments is the prohibition of adultery and the prohibition of coveting your neighbor s wife. He has committed 2 sins. So it is clear that jealousy leads to sin.
Whereas Charles jealousy almost kills his brother and cheats on him, Cal does kill his brother in an indirect way. Cal wants to surprise his father, Adam, by giving him a present of $15,000 that he invested. He is very excited about this. He waits patiently for Thanksgiving. Finally Thanksgiving comes and Cal presents the $15,000 to his father. To Cal s surprise Adam doesn t accept it and tells him to return the money. Cal feels rejected by his father. He gets mad and burns the $15,000! He can t take the pain and tells his brother who his mom really is. Aron is shocked and can t take it. He wants to get as far away as he can so he enlists in the army and later dies. Adam hears that his son has died and goes into shock. He gets real sick and Cal confesses to his father to what he had done. He did a thing in anger, Adam, because he thought you had rejected him. The result of his anger is that his brother and your son is dead. (Chapter 55 section 3 p. 777) Cal had offered the money as a sign of his love for his father. Adam doesn t accept it and Cal feels rejected. He doesn t feel he is loved as much as his brother who has accomplished more in his life. He gets jealous. Cal knows that his brother can t take the fact who his mom really is. He tells his brother the truth about his mother. His jealousy grew in anger and the anger grew into an action that harmed someone.
Stienbeck illustrates the evil action of man are influenced by jealousy. Jealousy leads to many acts of evil. For example, adultery, murder, stealing and lying, etc. All these acts are sins. Jealousy didn t exist only in the time period of the story, it exists even today. People get jealous everyday. A person may get jealous that someone is richer than he is or a person is smarter. Sometimes jealousy goes too far and takes over the good conscious of a person. Jealousy makes certain expressions like anger to go out of control. This makes the person to perform evil acts. If we can control our jealousy and not let it take over, we can overcome this thing we call sin.