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East of Eden -John Steinbeck Contemplates – Good and Evil

John Stienbeck

The words below are from the opening of the thirty fourth chapter of “East of Eden” John Steinbeck’s literary inquiry about Good and Evil.

“A child may ask, “What is the world’s story about?” And a grown man or woman may wonder, “What way will the world go? How does it end and, while we’re at it, what’s the story about?”

I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught — in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too — in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?”

Read more on the wonderful Brainpickings link below …

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/30/john-steinbeck-new-year/?mc_cid=f17d9ce542&mc_eid=1074b3d523

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Comments 1

  1. Wow, now that is some very real wisdom … right there in a handful of words ….. three sentences ….

    “A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?”

    Food for thought, that one.

    BTW : The Brainpickings site is FANTASTIC. I Encourage everyone to sign up. And give a small one off / monthly / annual contribution towards it staying alive. Goan explore their archives – absolutely brilliant.

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