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cathy ames in east of eden Essay

  • Submitted by: ygfhfcsa199
  • on December 20, 2009
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 797 words

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Below is an essay on "cathy ames in east of eden" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

East of Eden is a novel in which John Steinbeck discuses the roots of evil in its most common form; human. Through a detailed plot structure and numerous characters, he told a tale of brutality, cruelty, rejection, and isolation. An important character who helped to illustrate evil throughout the novel was Cathy Ames. Cathy was a very smart person, who ruthlessly lied and used other people to satisfy her own needs, “Cathy’s lies were never innocent. Their purpose was to escape punishment, or work, or responsibility, and they were used for profit” (Steinbeck 74). At the beginning of the novel she is portrayed as a wicked person who’s evilness comes from nowhere but her own empty heart. Towards the end, she appears weak and afraid of people, mostly the ones that do not fall for her trickery. These are the moments in the novel that may give the impression that Cathy is not evil after all, but is merely an impatient, self-centered person.

Cathy’s upbringing did not seem to be a likely place to develop hatred or any reason for rebellion in the young girl. Her parents were very loving and thought highly of her; “Cathy said she wanted to be a teacher, which delighted her mother and father, for this was the one profession of dignity open to a girl of a good but not well-to-do family”(79). Unfortunately, Cathy was not a normal child; her cleverness set her apart from other children in that she used sensitive information dealing with adult issues for her manipulative purposes. When Cathy was ten years old she was found topless with her hands tied, in a barn with two teenage boys. “Cathy, they said, had started the whole thing, and they had each given her five cents. They had not tied her hands. They said they remembered that she was playing with a rope” (77). Cathy’s actions while she was young point to the conclusion that her evil doing came from nature and not nurture.

The way Cathy’s parents die in the house fire is very disturbing. It is obvious that Cathy was...

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