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The importance of the character of cathy in east of eden by john steinbeck

If Cathy is the whale on any level, Adam is her romanticizing Ahab. Advertisements East of Eden Centennial Edition. I feel like this is the sort of book you pick up if you are already inclined towards the American Canon.

As a child and later as a young womanCathy is beautiful. Ames catches the children before anything can happen and though the boys maintain that 10 year-old Cathy tied herself up after requesting a nickel from each of them, they are sent away to a correctional facility.

What freedom men and women could have, were they not constantly tricked and trapped and enslaved and tortured by their sexuality! The only drawback in that freedom is that without it one would not be a human. One would be a monster. The importance of the character of cathy in east of eden by john steinbeck sets up the 10 year-old Cathy as not just a monster—a child without empathy or given to cruelness as many children can be, but a monster that preys on the particular failings of human sexuality.

We are told repeatedly throughout the chapter that Cathy is a beautiful little girl. Steinbeck allows for this.

East of Eden Questions and Answers

She is just a monster. We cannot help but read novels in the time and place in which we exist, no matter how much we might want to excuse difference. She shots Adam in the shoulder and leaves him with infant twins she attempted to abort by stabbing herself with a knitting needle. She takes up residence in a local whorehouse after changing her name to Katewhere she keeps detailed records the importance of the character of cathy in east of eden by john steinbeck the sexual proclivities of her customers in order to secure for herself a comfortable retirement.

She murders her madam, Faye, after befriending her and getting her to entrust her with the business. According to his own journals, Steinbeck read Moby-Dick while writing East of Eden and cites the novel, another unwieldy American epic, as an influence.

She twice attempts to escape, however violently, her role as mother. The notion that she might be mother to two children —two men— when one would be bad enough, so unnerves her that she eats chalk. But he does place Cathy in contrast with the other women in his novel. Their relationship is not homoerotic, nor can it be fully a partnership since Lee is employed by Adam.

Lee makes an overtly feminine home for Adam. He assumes that Lee has outfitted this room and the rest of the house.

John Steinbeck’s East of Eden: Catherine “Cathy” Ames Analysis

Compare that to the lean-to Cathy has built attached to her own quarters. Her room is relatively unfurnished and painted gray. She retreats there, she says for her eyes, but it also the place she goes within her own, presumably safe space, to settle her nerves.

But I am also drawn to the unfit mothers of American literature Addie Bundren comes to mind and I want Cathy to be redeemable on some level.

Examining Cathy in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

I think the best villains are. I want a character more deeply drawn than the one Steinbeck offers. I want a character more deeply drawn than her own gray wall.