east of eden Essay

Submitted By nicolaus15
Words: 628
Pages: 3

There is More than Meets the Eye In the novel East of Eden, written by John Steinbeck, many of the characters confront or maintain unrealistic expectations, assumptions, and prejudice profiles about themselves or others. These prejudices change each character’s decisions as well as the world they inhabit. Sam Hamilton, an Irish immigrant, is judged only by where he is from revealing that discrimination in that society caused individuals to change their accustomed ways of life. Lee, and American citizen with Chinese heritage, reveals how human nature and society’s expectations are not always true and can completely change one’s lifestyle. Sam Hamilton was forced to change his way of life and had to prove to society his ability to do good, based on the prejudice towards Irish immigrants. When Samuel first arrived in the Salinas valley he had many inventions but “other men who had the talent took Samuel’s tricks and sold them and grew rich, but Samuel made no money his whole life” (9). Society took advantage of his innocence because of the social profile society gave to the Irish. The community believed that all Iris men were constantly drinking and gambling. Although this was not true society believed it anyways taking Samuel inventions and making their own profit. With this view the public had for Samuel he was forced to change his ways of inventions and resort to a different job. The People looked at Samuel and “regarded [him] with suspicion until he is proved he is no danger to others” (38). This prejudice that society had was another reason for Samuel to have to change his lifestyle. Society decided to judge Sam without even meeting him. Samuel was forced to change his likeable characteristics in order to gain the trust of the citizens around him. The area quickly assumed that Sam was a danger and if he did not get to know the community soon they would force him to move to another area. This exemplifies how society can force one to completely change their way of life based on the false prejudices believed by human nature. The human nature can make large false assumptions based on prejudices, forcing one to live a false life in order to fit the inaccurate expectations of society. Lee, a Chinese servant, was forced to live an unrealistic lifestyle in order to fit what society expected him to be. If Lee were to speak English “to a lady or a gentlemen, for instance, and speak as [he] was now, [he] would not