East Of Eden Character Analysis

423 Words2 Pages
“Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It's a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other” (Eric Burdon). In John Steinbeck's East of Eden, characters are constantly fighting between the good and evil within themselves. Many of the characters believe that they are fated to be one or the other, but only few realize their free will and strive to be different, to change. Cathy, Steinbeck’s embodiment of evil, is an example of a character who does not embrace free will. She falls into a never ending cycle of evil actions and loneliness. Abra, Steinbeck’s embodiment of good, is an example of a character who does embrace free will. She realizes the evil in herself and strives to change.…show more content…
She is first introduced as a child, and as a child she makes others uneasy. She seems to have her own world that revolves around her. Free will is a recurring theme in this novel that all of Steinbeck’s characters encounter and either accept or reject. “Cathy exists as an amoral monster who brings into question the validity of this theme” (Noble 310). She was born evil and she dies evil. She never has the chance to change her fate because she never realizes the evil within herself. She likes the power she gets over someone when she blackmails them using their darkest secrets and once she exploits those secrets. Steinbeck intended for her to be a force of evil seen in people’s lives. “To a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself” (Steinbeck 75). To Cathy the “norm” is evil and everyone has evil tendencies. She sees herself as a vigilante of sorts, helping to show the world the evil people inside it. To her, good does not exist, and when she comes in contact with it she cannot comprehend it. “She lives as an alien who refuses to fit into the conventional code of the good woman” (Noble 16). She strives to be evil, even when those around her are showing her goodness. She represents judgement of people toward others and how people strive to protect
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