Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BOOK VS MOVIE: East of Eden

I've only read three works of John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men, The Pearl, East of Eden), but I know enough that he's one hell of an author.

In Salinas Valley, California in the late 1910's, Cal and Aron Trask both desire the attention of their father Adam. Aron gets most of the attention since he's the good son while Cal's the black sheep of the family. But Cal doesn't stop trying.

There's one part in the book and movie that made me get a lump in my throat. Cal gives his father a large sum of money he had earned. Adam refuses to accept the gift, asking Cal to be more like Aron. The refusal crushes Cal, failing to win the love of his father.

I actually connected with Cal since I could relate with him. Like him, I vie for the love and attention of my parents. But since my siblings are more active than me, I feel a little hurt when I don't get any recognition from my parents when I do something good. In fact, I started up this blog as a way to get more attention. But alas, it hasn't worked enough.

I love what Steinbeck said upon seeing James Dean ("Jesus Christ, that IS Cal Trask!"), and no surprise really. Dean's performance is riveting. As for the book, it's a brilliant piece of literature.

What's worth checking out?: I'd go with the book.


  1. This is a very personal piece. Do your parents read your blog?

  2. I haven't read the book yet, but James Dean was just wonderful in this film. Which one's better though?

  3. Don't forget the anime Eden of the East!

  4. I haven't read the book. But I too believe that Steinbeck is one of the great American writers. I have read Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and The Pearl. I have also seen East of Eden and included it in a paper that I wrote on the 1950's Family Melodrama. I think James Dean is one of the finest actors of all time. It is such a shame that he was only able to make three films. He would interact with his environment in a way that no other actor of the time could. Truly was a great loss. But I did really like the film. I have no doubts that the book is probably better though.

  5. The book is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read it so many times that my copy is literally falling apart.

    When I saw the film I was equally impressed with Dean but in the end, like most film adaptations, the scope of the book is lost as in my opinion there is too much here to attempt to capture on screen.


Comments are appreciated. More so if they are appropriate.