3. Adam Trask struggles to overcome the actions of others—his father, brother, and wife—and make his own life. What is the lesson that he learns that frees him from Kate and allows him to love his sons? He says to Cal near the ends that “if you want to give me a present—give me a good life. That would be something I could value.” Does Adam have a good life? What hinders him? Would you characterize his life as successful in the end?
Throughout East of Eden, Adam Trask struggles to overcome the actions from the ones around him. Steinbeck’s point for making Adam such an important character in East of Eden is because Adam sets of a sense of emotion throughout the other characters. For example; Cyrus Trask, Charles, Kate, and his two sons, Adam’s emotion and goodness makes him a highly respected character. Adams life turns out to be decent not too bad and not too good. Throughout East of Eden Adam struggles with many actions from his family, Cyrus Trask favored Adam over Charles, he believed that Adam was going to be the respected and good a child that will fulfill the dreams that Cyrus wanted. For example; when Cyrus asks Adam to enlist into the military he wanted Adam to be proud and be like his father. Adam fulfills his father’s remark and joins the military, while spending his time in duty; he begins love the ones around him. Later when Adam is departed from his service, he is lonely and misses his brothers, so he decides to enlist again and join them once more. Cyrus loved both his children, but he loved Adam more, and that made Charles jealous and wanted to do everything to earn his father’s love. Adam’s struggle with Charles expands until his death, when Adam and Charles shared gifts with their father, Cyrus picked Adam, over Charles’ expensive luxurious knife that he worked terrible hard for. From that point on the relationship between Adam and Charles changed. Charles beat on his brother because he was jealous and just wanted to have his father’s respect. Even though Adam suffered from Charles’ jealousy and physical abuse, he loved him and Charles loved him too. When Adam returned home from the military, Charles was happy to see his brother, because he missed him very much. This brought them closer together and Charles never beat on his brother again and loved and respected Adam. Kate was another one of Adam’s struggles. Adam fell in love with Kate/Cathy when she showed up half dead on their porch. Adam shows respect and love towards Kate and would do anything for her. Adam becomes a father and his shot by Cathy. When Cal and Aron are grown, Adam hears about Cathy owning a brothel and that she changed her name to Kate. When Adam arrives at the brothel he confronts Kate, after speaking about Kate never seeing Aron, Adam realizes that Kate is monster and finally stops loving her. The freedom that Adam encounters brings him much joy, because he can finally see the witch she has always been. Adam gets closer to his two sons, but still favors Aron, to protect both of them he doesn’t tell them about their mother. When Cal finds out that his mother is a prostitute, he confronts his father and asks for the truth.