The story of Cain and Abel
is essential for an understanding of East of Eden
. It was so important to Steinbeck that at one point he proposed to his publisher that the book be called Cain Sign
. In Journal of a Novel
, Steinbeck writes: "As I went into the story [of East of Eden
] more deeply I began to realize that without this story [of Cain and Abel]—or rather a sense of it—psychiatrists would have nothing to do. In other words this one story is the basis of all human neurosis—and if you take the fall along with it, you have the total of the psychic troubles that can happen to a human."
Printed from Oprah.com on Saturday, March 8, 2014
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