Cathy Ames In John Steinbeck's East Of Eden

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In John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Cathy Ames is presented as a monster. She is the most evil character in the novel, and rightfully so. Cathy manipulates other characters into doing her bidding by tapping into their weaknesses and trusting natures. Physically speaking, Cathy had a face of innocence, formed in the shape of a heart, which contrasts with her morally culpable, sinful behaviors. Cathy was born a Catherine, the name meaning “pure” which she is shown not to be from the very beginning. She is described to go from “a pretty child” to a “pretty woman,” oozing innocence and delicacy. However, even as a child Cathy produced a “disturbance she distributed so subtly” (73). Her immorality becomes clear to the reader when it is said that “Cathy learned that by the manipulation and use of this one part of people she could gain and keep power over nearly anyone” (75). Here we see that Cathy, even at a young age, is able to see within people and use their weaknesses against them. She is quickly dismissed as a monster by the narrator, but right before Cathy Ames ends her life, we are shown a broken little girl. However, this does not gain her sympathy because she made the choice to live her…show more content…
However, unlike a good handful of psychopaths and murderers, Cathy’s monstrosity did not evolve through a rough childhood. She was an only child, and it can be assumed that her parents fed her and loved her properly. After Cathy was found with her hands bound together in rope and two boys kneeling down, they were punished and sent to “a house of correction” (77). Cathy’s mother had been in hysterics when she found her daughter, while Mr. Ames had his own reservations about the ordeal which he kept to himself. Mr. Ames was always skeptical of his daughter, but he never said anything. Mrs. Ames believed Cathy’s lies, and only when Cathy refused to go to school did she begin to fear her
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