East of Eden Essay: Criticism of East of Eden

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Criticism of East of Eden

Possibly the best piece of criticism I discovered was an essay by Joseph Wood Krutch. Krutch begins by making a statement praising the enormous amount of energy that is required for a book with the scope of East of Eden. Very briefly, Krutch summarizes the novel and draws an analogy between it and The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. Krutch points out that in this novel, Steinbeck has avoided falling into the trap of writing a melodramatic as he has in some other pieces. Krutch says of Steinbeck: "Never, I think, not even in The Grapes of Wrath, has he exhibited such a grip upon himself and his material." (Krutch 370) Krutch points out that, especially in the first third of the book, the character
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In this extremely well written review, Webster shows us how Steinbeck, for the first time, writes about humans with a sense of morality and dignity instead of naturalistic subjects of society. (Webster 370) Webster points out how even though characters are supposed to be all good or all bad; a sense of possible change is always lingering about them. (Webster 370) In close, Webster states that East of Eden is "a sprawling narrative full of unguided life and... a novel that convincingly demonstrates that he is still one of the most important writers of our time." (Webster 370)

The last two reviews I used were found it a rather unlikely place, Dave Cymbalisty, in an Amazon.com user review was able to shed a light that I did not discover on my own and I found in no other critical review. Cymbalisty called the novel overall "Deadly realistic, as beautiful and revolting as is the actual human potentiality for good and evil." (Amazon) then continues on to compare each of the major characters in the book to a character temperament we see in our own lives. He shares my own feeling of inadequacy when attempting to summarize this "vast epic story". Cymbalisty identifies the dénouement of the work as the scene in
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