Monday, July 6, 2009

East of Eden - John Steinbeck

So we know that we are all children of Adam & Eve. They had twins - Cain and Abel. They wanted to please the God by the fruits of their hard labour (I am not quite sure if they wanted to please God or their parents, but I know they wanted to please, so assuming it was God that they wanted to please). God liked what Abel had done. Out of jealous, Cain killed him and he spent rest of his life repenting his act. Killing a man is a sin and killing one's own brother might have been the greatest sin.

We are all children of Cain and we are also caught in the web of good and ugly, guilt and regret. Cain was enslaved by the idea that he must win over his own. And then God told him "thou mayest" - which means, he may win over his sin. In other words, he may not win over his sin and its all too human. However, the spiritual leaders, the mullahs, the fathers did some operation with the bible and changed it to "you should win over your sin". By doing it, they had taken back the choice given by the God to mankind. The choice that winning over one's sin may not be possible. But these religious gurus wanted to control the world around them. So how could they have given the choice? Aint it sound so similar to those babas who appear every day on TV and guide (or prod) their followers. Shameless bastards they all are, they have committed the worst sin by cheating the world for so long.

Well I am not writing on Bible. I just finished reading the book "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. I started reading only 2 years back and havent read much but of all I have read this is the best book that I have come across. Steinbeck sets the story in California. Tsark has two sons - Charles and Adam. Charles was always guilty of being too agressive with his brother. Adam gets married and his wife gives birth to twins - Cal and Aaron, who are nothing but the replica of Charles and Adam. Cal thinks he is made of all bad things, he thinks bad, goes to bad places. Aaron is a nice looking sweet guy and everyone likes him more than Cal. Cal is jealous, which drives him to cause the death of Aaron. His guilt does not leave him and then the book closes with his father telling him "Timshel - Thous Mayest". In a way, his father forgives him, for committing a sin is all too human. Moreover, by giving the choice (the word "may" stands for choice unlike "should" which stands for order), he had set Cal free of his guilt.

In hindsight, it seems too obvious that this book has come from an American, for this country stands for freedom of all kinds. Freedom from Church, freedom from King. And this is what Steinbeck implies when he says "we might have been living in caves if human spirit wasnt free"

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