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<  The Third Eye Reading Room  ~  East of Eden

marantzo
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:27 pm Reply with quote
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I have a different reaction to that ending. Though I can't fault Lee for pressing the issue, the whole thing seems completely unreal to me. We have a bunch of infantile emotional cripples here. The whole thing seems like a setup to me for what Steinbeck wants to say. It's phoney as far as I'm concerned, and has very few people acting like anyone I have ever known or read about. It's more like an impotent snakepit than a community. If we are supposed to believe that Cal will go on with his life in a close to normal fashion just because his father seems to have accepted him then it is just ridiculous. People with the psychological problems and insecurities that we are shown that Cal has don't just go merrily off because his father says, "I love you son."

The whole novel is a stretched out, padded, torturous journey through a bunch of wafer thin characters and grade school moral lessons.

This book stinks and it if didn't have a noted and skilled wordsmith at its helm would never have seen the light of day. It should have been about 190 pages. It bored and stupified me for most of its 600 pages and the only real satisfaction it gave me was the chance to give my reasons on this forum for why it's such a waste of time.
mitty
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:40 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
Gary!

You just have to stop being so shy. I know its not easy, now just say what you really think. You'll feel a lot better.....there, there. Rolling Eyes
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marantzo
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:45 pm Reply with quote
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You're right mitty.

I didn't care for the book. I feel better now.
mitty
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
ROTFALTIC!
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Marj
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:48 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Gary wrote:
Quote:
Well Marj, I was only clinically depressed once in my life.

People who have never been truly depressed think it is like being really sad. It's not.


I've never been sure about your second point. But I am glad this happened only once. I would be happier had it never happened at all. But at least your honest. I would venture to guess there are more people, read friends who have been, and cannot or will not admit to it. Sadly, the stigma is still too great.

Gary, I've been there too. It is a Hell I never want to find myself in ever again.
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Marj
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Mitty, sorry, but I didn't really get the point of your question?
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mitty
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
[quote="mitty" Marj what I'd like to know is what is your take on Cal burning the money, and Lee's reaction to it? And why do you think Adam considered himself so pure that he could not profit from Cal's little business deal? Or did he?[/quote]

If you mean the above, in other words, why do you think Cal burned the money, and was Lee's reaction suitable. Plus for what reason do you consider that Adam rejected the money? Was it because he considered himself "above" such "dirty" money?
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Marj
Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Mitty, I was referring to this:

Quote:
In re-reading the very end of East of Eden, I remember again why I so admired Lee. On p.600 when he forces Adam to verbalize his forgivness of Cal. It took a lot of courage and responsibility to force the issue in this manner. But Cal could not have lived a life in a full and rich way if it had not been done. It was what any father that loves his children would/should want.

Adam gave Cal his chance.

And then I realized it wasn't a queston.

And I have to say at this point, I have found my re reading of East Of Eden to be not nearly as satisfying as I had hoped it would be. But I do give Steinbeck credit for this last scene. He kept his characters IN character.

One might have expected Adam to tell his son, he loved him. But as Adam has never learned to love, the best he can do is say, timshel, bringing the whole story back to the parable. At least according to Lee's biblical teachings. One has a choice and Adam gives his son that choice.

It really is a perfect ending.
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Rod
Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Dec 2004 Posts: 2944 Location: Lithgow, Australia
...


Last edited by Rod on Sun May 07, 2006 12:30 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
A long time ago, but somehow in the future...It is a period of civil war and renegade paragraphs floating through space.
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Marj
Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:32 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Rod, I wish you had joined us earlier. As we are now wrapping up this discussion. I happen to agree with you that EOE is an allegory. But what's been fun in discussing it, is not everyone does!

What's also been fun and intriguing even as we dwindled down to a precious few, are the personal, often highly personal reactions to some of the events and characters in the book.

All in all, this has been a lively discussion. It would be nice to hear some final thoughts. That is, if there any floating around? And of course if anyone has some new insights to share, we will still be here for as long as you want.


Last edited by Marj on Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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marantzo
Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:52 pm Reply with quote
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I didn't care for the book. I feel better now.
mitty
Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
The interesting part to me is that I enjoyed the first reading, found it a bit drawn out, but enjoyable. Upon analyzing, the characters become cardboard displays only suitable for Steinbeck's apparent world views. I realized just how much I disliked all of the characters. The most "likable" of which was Lee, who became insufferable in the end.

Which only goes to show ya, some books will not bear close inspection, and one should only remember the ambiance.
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pedersencr
Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 921 Location: New Orleans
I was rooting for Cathy all the way! I didn't feel that any character should have to put up with such hatred from their author. But, overall, enjoyed the book.
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mitty
Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:35 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
Charles

We coulda used one of your essays earlier! Very Happy
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mitty
Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 02 Aug 2004 Posts: 1354 Location: Way Down Yonder.......
But Cathy/Kate was the most interesting, and well developed.
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