Steinbeck describes Cathy from her early childhood. He writes that she was always a strange and fascinating child. She was born as an only child to the Ames family. She was always a liar, but not like many other children lie, her lies “were not innocent” and, unlike others, “she never forgot her lies” (East of Eden 98). She also at a very young age learnt the power of sexuality and there was one incident, when she is ten years old, in which she locks herself and ties herself in the barn with two fourteen year old boys. It seems that they are performing some sexual acts, until her mother, Mrs. Ames, catches them. Since the boys say that Cathy made them pay her some money and even tied her own hands, nobody believes them and they are sent away to the house of correction (East of Eden 100-102). Presumably, their
The other women in the novel: Liza and Olive Hamilton, Abra Bacon, and even Steinbeck's mother are described to be caring, affectionate, and loving, all the characteristic of a mother, which contrast to Cathy. Although Charles can appear dark natured, there are moment where he expresses human emotions like love and guilt, Cathy expenses none of this because she is inhuman. In addition, to her son, Cal can become dark, however, he has illustrate he can conquer over sin and live a high-minded life. “What made Kate so effective was the fact that she had either learned it or had been born with the knowledge” (241). Therefore, Cathy places an important role in the plot of evil is human nature.
She creates stories and makes assumptions. She also prefers to talk, not listen. For example, when Beth and Calvin go to play golf, Calvin tells Beth that Conrad “needs to know that you don’t hate him”. She gets defensive immediately and starts to accuse Conrad of telling lies to his father, convinced that Conrad is against her. She shows signs of violence, including labeling Instead, she should control her stories and presume that people are basically good.
In the narrative, Oates recalls her high school years in which she reconnects with Ruth Weidel, who gave teachers the implication that “something had happened” and how they “treated her guardedly” (Oates 561). This ties into the theme of the individual versus society. When she lived with her family, Ruth and the rest of her family were treated as outcasts and were talked about behind their backs. Now in high school, she remained alone until Oates worked up the nerve to befriend. Something had caused her to mature quickly and in the midst of that growth, Ruth created a barrier to protect herself from anymore pain.
“You change your life by changing your heart.” said Max Lucado. This is exactly what Catherine did in Karen Cushman’s Catherine, Called Birdy. Her experiences led to the discovery of the need for change. The interactions and experiences she had with the Jews, her mother, and a villager led to Catherine becoming more gentle, caring, aware of her surroundings, and more of herself than she was before. One way that Catherine changed was after her encounter with the old Jewish Lady.
Cal’s Internal Struggle Not any one person or character has a single characteristic. Personality is made up of a multitude of different things, good and bad. This holds true in John Steinbeck’s, East of Eden, because even though Cal makes immoral decisions he is still human with other admirable attributes. Cal fights against his nature that was passed down to him by Cathy without ever giving up. He discovers how special Aron is, but keeps his composure, “Cal stared fiercely at his brother, at the pale hair and the wide-set eyes, and he suddenly knew why his father loved Aron, knew it beyond doubt.”
In the novel East of Eden, contrary to Fontenrose’s criticism, Steinbeck portrays the relationship between good and evil as an inherent part of the human condition, shown through his characters as they struggle with their choices and ultimate path, providing an understanding of humanity within the biblical struggle generation after generation must face. Steinbeck delineates good and evil as attributes present in everyone, existing from birth, and asserts that both are resolute and immutable in their existence. “Humans are caught… in a net of good and evil,” (Steinbeck 413). From the moment Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, humans were doomed to have both good and evil inside of them, without any ability to truly overcome the evil. Though Fontenrose supplies valid points in that Steinbeck uses the
In John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, the archetypal mother figure of Olive Hamilton, who is modeled after the author’s own mother, is sharply contrasted with the novel’s antagonist, the ultimate anti-mother figure of Cathy Ames. This juxtaposition of characters highlights not only Olive’s loving, selfless nature, but also Cathy’s diabolical, egocentric one. In Chapter fourteen of East of Eden, Steinbeck presents his readers with the first description of his mother’s character, explaining that she was a woman of beauty, poise, pride, and humor. The ultimate testimony to Olive’s character, however, is given on page 151: “Olive had great courage.
Even though she is depicted as a murderous monster who worked to destroy her own children through abortion and the revelation of her true identity to Aron, in reality, Cathy solely worked against what she didn’t understand –goodness. This highlights how Cathy also followed the idea of timshel, but she could only follow what she knew –human nature. Not only did Cathy serve as the novel’s main adversary Steinbeck utilizes the evil within her to show how evil could be defeated by goodness. Opposing viewpoints state East of Eden contains underdeveloped, stereotypical female characters argue that Steinbeck categorizes women into two, extreme types: caring mother or heinous villains.
The usage of both literal and indirect ways allowed the reader to dive into Ruth’s thoughts, actions and attitude. By showing her as a troubled girl who had insecurities and self-doubts about bullies such as Macca, the human readers may empathise with her. Later, Ruth becomes a quiet hero despite the consequences; this inspires the audience. The author allows her audience to see her thoughts and
When Jeannette’s mom gives birth to her fourth child; named Maureen, Jeannette says to her, “I promised her I’d always take care of her” (46). She promises to take care of Maureen, and to take care of her Jeannette has to keep motivated and hope for the best, but also remain dedicated and try her hardest. Making that promise shows Jeannette is mature and she will accomplish whatever is possible for Maureen. As life moves on, Jeannette wants to feel like she knows what is going on in the world, “But a newspaper reporter… I decided I wanted to be one of the people who knew what was really going on” (204).
Charlotte’s insecurity is a partial result of her mother’s disapproving and unresponsive nature. Unlike Charlotte’s father, who listens attentively and enthusiastically to Charlotte’s day at school, Charlotte’s mother shows no interest. She simply gives a half-hearted comment, “without emphasis of any kind”(71), then changes the subject. Additionally, when Charlotte is distressed over Ms. Hancock's death, her mother gets irritated and blames her for “disturbing the even tenor of [their] home”(80).
In the novel, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, rhetorical devices are used to illustrate the characters throughout the book to be either be good or evil by the usage of diction, connotation and denotation as well as other rhetorical devices. By using rhetorical devices it allows the audience to gain a better deeper comprehension of the book. The rhetorical devices allow Steinbeck to describe the characteristics of each character to define them as either good or evil which allows the reader to analyze the parallels between one another. In addition, rhetorical devices for example metaphor, tone, diction, simile, imagery, analogy, allegory, and paradox contribute to the author’s style which creates an image for readers to comprehend. Steinbeck uses word choice, tone, anaphora to highlight the juxtaposition between Cathy Ames and Abra Bacon to illustrate how evil and goodness change the perspective about their inherent point.
Her final independent decision is to commit suicide under her own will, displaying her true identity through her own