->'' "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]]''.

!!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, or at least a young boy named John Steinbeck who is the grandson of Samuel Hamilton, son of Ernest and Olive (nee Hamilton) Steinbeck (names of author's actual grandfather and parents), does. The Hamiltons are indeed loosely based on author Steinbeck's own relatives but their lives are supposedly rather heavily fictionaluzed.
* EnforcedMethodActing: For the scene when a drunken Cal visits Abra at night, director Kazan actually had James Dean (having a low alcohol tolerance) buzzed on some chianti.
* 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, and Adam [[spoiler:prefers Aron]].
* RomanAClef: the Hamilton sections are based heavily on Steinbeck's maternal family history.
* Satan: Cathy, complete with hoof-like feet.
* 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]].
* TheSociopath: Cathy.
* SonOfAWhore: [[spoiler:Cal and Aron.]]
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Lee.
* ThemeInitials
* TwiceToldTale: The tale of Cain and Abel. Repeatedly.
* TheUnfavorite: Charles and [[spoiler:Cal]].
* ThrowItIn: Cal was supposed to deck Adam after he rejects his present. When shooting, James Dean had the impulse to instead hug Raymond Massey. This became a moment of EnforcedMethodActing for Massey who, unpracticed in improvisation, came across exactly as stiff and uncomfortable as Adam ought to be under the circumstances.
** Dean also improvised the dance through the bean field.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Cyrus to Charles, and later, [[spoiler: Adam to Cal]].