Cal Trask East Of Eden Character Analysis

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Fate, the promise that one is powerless in impacting their destiny, has devastated countless individuals. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an address to the American people, presented the simplicity of this devastation: “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds” (3). John Steinbeck demonstrates this psychological battle in East of Eden, a book that explores the determination of fate and free will. Steinbeck demonstrates this theme through characters who hold varying beliefs in which idea is correct. Cal Trask, a symbolic character who represents Cain from the Bible story, initially believes he is a prisoner of fate and evil. In his adolescence, Cal possesses external locus of control mindset, or “the perception that chance or …show more content…

Another source of Cal’s external locus of control is his physical characteristics. Cal is described as “dark-skinned and dark-haired. He was quick and sure and secret...No one liked Cal very much and...everyone was touched with fear of him” (Steinbeck 421). Cal’s twin brother, Aron, is frequently described as having an angelic appearance and as immediately being the favorite of the twins. Cal feels hopeless in finding allies and friends as his physical appearance puts him at a severe disadvantage. Cal feels externally controlled as he had no power in deciding his appearance and therefore, his acceptance by others. Cal’s last and most severe form of control is his father’s expectations. His father, Adam, is described as a brainwashed character who only can see evil in Cal. Throughout the entirety of the book, Cal desperately attempts to meet his father’s unattainable expectations of perfect goodness: “...As Adam changes Aron into what he wants him to be, he refuses to see Cal as anything other than what he believes him to be” (Meyer and Veggian

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