Evil In John Steinbeck's East Of Eden

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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…show more content…
However, it is difficult to believe that Cathy chose to be evil to the extreme that Steinbeck depicts. He described every moment of her life as being devoted to bringing other people down, and pulling herself up. She achieved this through devious schemes that trapped many important men in compromising positions, and also by clever plots that allowed her to take over one of the most successful whore houses in Salinas. Cathy was a secretive person who went to great measures to cover her past and her feelings. In turn, chosen isolation combined with the lack of love is a clear identification of the source of her evil, which is

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