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East of Eden: An Interpretation

Powerful Essays
East of Eden: An Interpretation I. Cathy Ames - Cathy's main motivation was her desperate and incessant need for money. This held true throughout most of the book; it was only at the very end of her life that she realized that she had been missing something her entire life. This is the reason she left everything that she had amassed to her youngest son, Aron. This act may have been a desperate attempt at making up for the love she was never privileged enough to have. Cathy viewed herself as someone who could outwit most anyone she met -- especially men. There were a few of those who she feared because she felt like their eyes could see into every one of her thoughts and emotions. Samuel Hamilton was one of these people, and so she despised him. Whatever happened in Cathy at the end was responsible for her change in disposition. Her sudden "goodness" (if it can be called that) impelled her to leave everything she owned to Aron, her "good" son, and nothing to Cal, whom she felt was most like her in his devious personality and sinful motivation (from what she gathered of the few times they met). Cathy saw nothing good or honest in any part of humanity. Even the men who she served disgusted her. She surrounded herself with the slime of civilization, and was blinded to everyone and everything else. I don't know that Cathy ever truly liked anybody but herself, and in the end the fact that she didn't even like herself frankly scared her. All of her past misdeeds finally came back to haunt her. After swallowing her "Drink Me," she finally ceased to be, and in her mind, never was; and that was the way she wanted it. Samuel Hamilton - Samuel Hamilton was a family man. He valued spending time with his fa... ... middle of paper ... ...ginning with my dislikes, I disliked the chapters that seemed to slant away from the rest of the story; the chapters of Olive Hamilton especially. These chapters seemed to have no effect on the Hamiltons or the Trasks. I found them pointless, but I also may have missed an underlying reason for their place in the book. Regardless, I liked the book very much. I thought it was well-written and very well thought out. The action parts were the best, but it moved at an understandably slow pace to reveal every significant thing that happened, but moved fast enough to keep me, the reader, entertained. It shocks me how much research Steinbeck must have had to do simply to develop the concept for East of Eden, but I think his time was well spent. And it was obviously worth it, for now, almost 50 years later, it is still widely read. I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
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