Cathy in East of Eden Cathy is not all evil and horrible in spirit, but she is human like all of us. Cathy's actions throughout Steinbeck's novel East of Eden show her to be a monster with no heart, however, in the end, she is sad and we can truly see inside her soul. Cathy is extremely manipulative and cunning. She can be cold and cruel to people, but she is just one bad apple in the orchard. I believe Steinbeck makes her out to be a monster and, in the end, shows us a little different side of her. He wants to remind us that Cathy could very easily be a real person and that there are many people out there in the world like here.
From the beginning of the book we know that Cathy is a cold and sly person. At one point, she cons two boys into playing doctor with her.
She has a piece of rope and ties her hands together. When the boys are found on top of her, Cathy is seen as the victim. The boys are punished and she is pitied." Cathy learned when she was very young that sexuality with all its attendant yearnings and pains, jealousies and taboos, is the most disturbing impulse humans have."(75) Cathy knows how to make people feel sorry for her and this last incident with the two boys proves it. Cathy has perfected the art of being a con artist. Lots of people as like this these days though. It is not so hard to believe. Steinbeck goes on to describe her and how she does not take men seriously. She makes herself desirable to both Adam and Charles. Cathy feels lonely in many cases and she wants to be wanted, and she may not know what she wants. We also take a look at Cathy when she tries to abort her own child. It seems a bit unreal how anyone could value life so little as to rid herself of a child with a knitting needle. This in itself is very possible, but put together with her manipulative mind and cunningness, it makes Cathy more of a fantasy and a make-believe villain than anything else.
Later, Cathy becomes very angry. She shoots Adam and leaves him. Cathy shows that she has strong feelings and expresses them in any way that she sees fit. "He pushed the door open. She stood three feet away. In her right hand she held his .44 colt, and the black hole in the barrel pointed at him...she shot him...she tossed the pistol on the floor beside him and walked out of the house." (202) One thing that Steinbeck shows us is that Cathy knows that she is evil. When she sits down with Cal and talks to him, she sees hatred, jealousy, and evil in him. She actually sees is herself in him. Cathy is a very smart girl and capable of comprehending even the toughest things. When Steinbeck gives Cathy a mind of her own, more readers accept her as real, though cruel and manipulative. They never think twice because she now has human qualities mixed with all the evil and bad ones; just enough to make her believable. No one thinks twice about it either, because we all know people who can be just like her. She is now just another fish in the sea. She is just another person and an exciting main character to read about. She is always the one making decisions and driving the story in the book.
In the end of the book, Aron goes to meet Cathy. He is in shock that she is his mother and just screams at her. "She saw the face of the blond and beautiful boy, his eyes mad with shock." (548) Cathy is greatly affected by his visit to her. She finally shows the readers a softer side of her, confused and not understanding why Cal brought him to her. This meeting is eventually what drives her to kill herself. She writes a will and leaves everything to Aron because she knows that he is the good son and nothing like her. She finally sees a lot of the wrong doings in her own life and cries. Steinbeck again gives a glimpse of Cathy's emotional side and she is no longer being compared to a monster, but to a wolf in sheep's clothing. She tried to be evil and worked at it, but deep down had hidden feelings and thoughts about who she truly was. She thinks about who she could have been.
Cathy is not really a monster at heart. She is girl who has led a different and bumpier life. Cathy often acted selfish and stuck-up, but it is just a part of being human. Knowing what you want and to expressing it in a personal way is not all bad, but very strong. Always wanting to be the center of attention and always getting what you want is not a very angelic way to look upon life, but it is not all devilish either.