Essay on Biblical Allegories in Modern Literature

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John Milton, in his epic poem “Paradise Lost,” expresses that “the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven” (Milton). This idea not only counteracts the basic ideals of Christianity but simultaneously disrupts the widely accepted idea of a separated heaven and hell and the expectations needed to be met to achieve entry. Religion and the bible, two of the most widely disputed topics in history, serve as a muse for authors to explain humanity’s fatal flaws. Throughout East of Eden and The Winter of Our Discontent, Steinbeck uses biblical stories and their basic principles to display the hypocrisy of modern Christianity.
Criticism of organized religion’s hypocrisy and rigidness is often seen throughout Steinbeck’s writing despite his Episcopalian upbringing and knowledge of the bible. Steinbeck’s mother pounded the bible into his mind which explains his particular fascination with God and the ideals displayed in the sacred text. His falling out with organized religion did not hinder his ability to portray the stories and beliefs in his texts. In the author’s childhood he even feuded with organized religion publicly by speaking out during a sermon at his church which had enraged him. To much of his mother’s dismay, Steinbeck exclaimed “you all look satisfied here, while outside the world begs for a crust of bread or a chance to earn it. Feed the body and the soul will take care of itself!” Steinbeck managed to go against the speaker and was immediately asked if he could deliver an even better sermon (Wrath of Steinbeck). Steinbeck’s misbehavior in the church continued when he was altar serving and dropped a brass cross on an old man and was never asked back to the mass. Steinbeck rejects...

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... that love for wealth is the root of all evil and exemplifies the hypocrisy of modern day Christians. Through a God that is shown to be a hippocratic

Works Cited

Anatolios, Khaled, and Stephen F. Brown. “Influence on Society and Culture.” World Religions Online. Infobase learning. Web. 9 May 2014.
Bennet, Robert. The Wrath of John Steinbeck. Los Angeles: Albertson P, 1939.
Flinn, Frank K. “Evil in Catholicism.” World Religions Online. Infobase Learning. Web. 8 May. 2014

The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments. Trenton: I. Collins, 1791. Print.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. New York: Odyssey, 1935. Print.
Steinbeck, John. East of Eden. New York: Penguin, 2002. Print.
Steinbeck, John. The Winter of Our Discontent. New York: Viking, 1961. Print.

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