East of Eden
Important Quotations Explained
believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents. Some
you can see, misshapen and horrible, with huge heads or tiny bodies.
. . . And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be
mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect,
but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may
not the same process produce a malformed soul?
this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual
human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would
fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes,
you see? . . . The American Standard translation orders men
to triumph over sin, and you call sin ignorance. The King James
translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will
surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou
mayest’—that gives a choice. It might be the most important word
in the world. That says the way is open.”
believe that there is one story in the world, and only
one. . . . Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts,
in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and
in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil.
. . . There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the
dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean
questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
asked, “Do you know where your brother is?”
“No, I don’t,” said Cal. . . .
“He hasn’t been home for two nights. Where is he?”
“How do I know?” said Cal. “Am I supposed to look after him?”
by Clarinetmast, September 06, 2012
The narrator is actually John Hamilton, the grandson of Samuel Hamilton and the son of Olive Hamilton.
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by readereaterheater, November 19, 2012
Actually, the narrator is John Steinbeck. Olive Hamilton is married to a Steinbeck and the novel often mentions the "Steinbeck House" and her husband and children. It's supposed to be an ironic little pun he puts in there.
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