"East of Eden", by Steinbeck: A Father's love

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According to today a father's love is unconditional, a father loves his child because he/she is his child. In East of Eden, Steinbeck chooses to represent a father's love as conditional. A father's love must be competed for and literally won. This type of love is represented by one family in this novel but is made an example of in two generations. The Trask family is this family. Cyrus has his two sons: Charles …

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…and dangerous, making him very difficult to like or even love. Adam loves Aron because he is full of integrity and has pride in what he does. Caleb is likeable but also hard to love because of his hidden evilness. If Cyrus' or Adam's love had been unconditional with both sons regardless of their personality, the evilness of Caleb and Charles might have been erased because they no longer would be resentful towards his brother.