->'' "If you want to give me a present, give me a good life. That's something I can value." ''
-->-- '''Adam Trask'''

A 1952 novel by Creator/JohnSteinbeck, ''East of Eden'' was brought to the screen in 1955 by director Creator/EliaKazan with a cast headed by JamesDean.

The novel concerns two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, who live in Salinas Valley, California. The Hamiltons, headed by patriarch Samuel Hamilton and wife Liza, initially settle into the valley with their nine kids. When the kids set out to seek their fortunes, the land is settled by the wealthy Adam Trask. The Trask family grows, adding a wife, Cathy, a DevilInPlainSight, and sons Cal and Aron. Just after the birth of the two sons, Cathy vanishes from their lives. Years later, the now-grown boys meet a girl named Abra, whose presence drives a wedge between the two.

Not to be confused with ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'' nor ''[[VideoGame/TengaiMakyou Far East of Eden aka Tengai Makyou]]''. Not related to the book ''Literature/WestOfEden'' either.

!!Provides Examples Of:

* AdamAndOrEve: The two brothers are named Cal and Aron and their father is named Adam. The brothers' uncle is Charles, and Adam's wife is named Cathy.
* AdaptationDistillation: Director Elia Kazan decided to completely cut out the first two thirds of the book and just make the movie about the final third, which focuses on Adam's two sons as teenagers.
* AliceAllusion: ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' was Cathy's favorite book as a child. [[spoiler: She kills herself by taking poison, imagining the "Drink Me" bottle shrinking her into oblivion.]]
* AmbiguouslyGay: In the book, Abra seems to suspect that Aron is gay, and his disinterest in Abra does develop along with his intense admiration of the pastor, Mr. Rolf.
* ArcWords: ''[[spoiler:Timshel]]''.
* AsianSpeekeeEngrish: Thoroughly {{subverted}} and {{deconstructed}} with Lee's entire character.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Cathy until she inherits Faye's brothel and no longer has to hide her real personality.
* CainAndAbel: Charles and Adam, Cal and Aron.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Abra does this to Adam [[spoiler: after he had a stroke]] for his treatment of Cal.
* ChildhoodMarriagePromise: [[spoiler:Aron and Abra]] make one. [[spoiler: It doesn't work out.]]
* TheClan: two for the price of one!
* DevilInPlainSight: Cathy in her early years.
* DirectLineToTheAuthor[=/=]AutobiographicalRole: John Steinbeck himself as a young boy shows up in the novel as a minor character. Steinbeck is implied to have heard about and/or seen the events in the novel as he was growing up and simply wrote about them as an adult. The Hamiltons are indeed loosely based on author Steinbeck's own relatives but their lives are supposedly rather heavily fictionaluzed.
* ForTheEvulz: Apparently why Charles sleeps with Cathy on her and Adam's wedding night (even though he had been suspicious about her and warned Adam). When she tells Charles she gave Adam her painkiller-spiked tea accidentally-on-purpose, he merely laughs and says "That poor bastard."
* FunnyForeigner: Lee pretends to be one of these.
* GenerationXerox
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Aron. In the movie, [[spoiler:he smashes his head through the window of the train, laughing maniacally at Adam as it pulls away.]]
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Played straight with Faye (and others, to a lesser extent), but subverted with [[spoiler:Cathy]], who pretends to be one.
* MeaningfulName: Naming the boys Caleb and Aaron was after the Bible characters. In a counterpoint to the Cain and Abel sequence, it was Caleb and not Aaron who lived to reach the Promised Land, but because Caleb was one who hadn't sinned.
* NotListeningToMeAreYou: As Sam reads Adam and Cathy a story, he throws in some nonsense lines. They fail to listen to them.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Lee, the Pidgin speaking Chinese cook, is actually the smartest character in the whole story.
* ParentalFavoritism: Cyrus prefers Adam over Charles - even though Charles loved his father while Adam did not. Adam [[spoiler:prefers Aron]].
* RomanAClef: the Hamilton sections are based heavily on Steinbeck's maternal family history.
* SelfMadeOrphan: [[spoiler:Cathy, in one of the most chilling scenes in the book.]]
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Adam and Charles (who are actually described as having a relatonship more similar to that of a sister and a brother), Aron and Cal.
* ShoutOut: The title is taken from [[Literature/TheBible The Book of Genesis]]: "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and took up residence in the Land of Nod, east of Eden."
* SiblingTriangle: [[spoiler:Cathy marries Adam, but sleeps with his brother Charles]]. Later, [[spoiler: Aron's girlfriend Abra transfers her affections to Cal]].
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Members of the Hamilton clan. Sam is a WideEyedIdealist, while Liza is a cynic. Of their children, Tom is another WideEyedIdealist with "ideas coming out of his ears," even more so than his father, while Will is a cynic who "never had any ideas" and thus "the only one in the family who made any money." Others fall somewhere between Tom and Will. [[AuthorTract John loves his Uncle Tom but he doesn't seem to like Uncle Will much.]]
** The Cal and Aron mirror Will and Tom to an extent. Will and Cal work well together, being both practical and business-minded. Both Aron and Tom wind up as DoomedMoralVictor of sorts.
* TheSociopath: Cathy. She's a consummate liar and a master manipulator, she's completely self-centered and has no empathy or shame. The narrator claims that she was simply born this way; some children are born without arms, while Cathy was born without a conscience.
* SonOfAWhore: [[spoiler:Cal and Aron.]]
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Lee.
* ThemeInitials
* TwiceToldTale: The tale of Cain and Abel. Repeatedly.
* TheUnfavorite: Charles and [[spoiler:Cal]].
* WellDoneSonGuy: Cyrus to Charles, and later, [[spoiler: Adam to Cal]].