Wednesday, May 29, 2013

John Steinbeck's "Monster"

East of Eden
Chapter 8


Chapter 8 introduces Cathy Ames, the female character that Steinbeck depicts as a natural born “monster.” He creates an argument that some people in the world are born with malformed minds in just the same way that others suffer from visible disfigurements. The perception of Cathy from the viewpoint of other characters is often warped as that they cannot see her inner self. Making matters worse is the fact that Cathy Ames is beautiful. Is she able to disguise who she really is? How would you describe Cathy? Is she a natural born “monster”? Be specific and give examples from the text. Has Steinbeck personified her in any way? Comment below. 

32 comments:

  1. I think he has personified her in chapter 8.

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  2. I think that Cathy is able to disguise who she really is,but i think that she is unsure of her true identity. She doesnt think about her actions and how terrible they are. she is such a younge girl who has no sense of morals.Cathy is sneaky and untrustworthy.

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  3. She is able to disguise who she is from just about everyone except for Charles because they think the ame way. I would describe her as the lowest form of human life possible, she is a visceral, manipulative, whore who preys on the emotions of other people so that she can maintain control of the person and situation at all times. She is by far and away a natural born monster.

    Spoliers: After she gets her face bashed in, Adam nurses her back to good health and they eventually get married. For Adam, it is love, for Cathy, it is a means to an end and after Adam drinks too much of her sleep medecine by accident and falls asleep, she goes to another rooms to sleep with Charles on the first day of her marriage with Adam.

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  4. Cathy is very good at hiding who she really is, he beauty often does that for her. She is a manipulative 10 year old girl who lies better than any one else. She is a natueal born monster, other people end up taking blame for what she has caused. Just by not talking, after she had been found in the barn with the boys, it was assumed that she was a victim, when in fact she had been giggling, which she is not commonly known to do. Also the boys said she tied her own hands but no one believes them. No one knows how well she lies or how manipulative she is. Steinbeck has portrayed her to be in control of everyone around her. Her parents think shes innocent, boys want her. Adults want to figure out what is different with her, and with this mystery she has power over them

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  5. Yes, i think that because she is beautiful people wouldn't really assume much from her, especially having the tendencies to burn down her house with her parents still inside of it. I would say that Cathy is, one, underestimated by her parents, and two just a psycho. I could understand her wanting to leave her parents. Her mother is relentless and mean and doesn't understand her, but she must have some sort of mental illness because nobody in there right minds would fake there own death and kill there parents. Cathy's evil boarders implausible due to the fact that she walks around flaunting her beauty, in a way, so nobody can believe it when it really happens. She sot of seems better than what her parents want her to be, "Cathy was fourteen when she entered high school. She had always been precious to her parents, but with her enterance into the rarities of algebra and Latin she climbed into clouds where her parents could not follow. They had lost her. They left that she was translated to a higher order." (79) "Cathy walked lightly, almost dancingly around the house and into the street. The trees were beaking into leaf and a few early dandelions were in yellow flower on the lawns. Cathy walked gaily toward the center of the town where the bank was. And she was so fresh and pretty that people walking turned and looked after her when she had passed" (86)

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  6. "And just as thetre are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?" (71) "There was a time when a girl like Cathy would hav been called posessed by the devil. She would have been exorcised to cast out the evil spirit...." (72)

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  7. The word "Monster" perfectly describes Cathy Ames. She is Manipulative annd evil. The fact that people are misled by her beautiful looks makes her that much more dangerous to the poeple around her. The quote "The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul" perfectly explains Steinbeck's view of Cathhy. he argues that in the same manner that horrible looks are created, that horrible intentions can be created. Cathy does not have any concrete reasons to take part in the severity of her actions.

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  8. Towards the beginning of the chapter it says that Cathy grew up and developed with a boys body. She was always small and she looked like a child. She was beautiful however and she looked quite innocent. However, Cathy is a liar. She lied to escape from punishment, work and reponsibilities. She never forgot her lies and she could always continue through them without being tripped up. This is how she starts to turn into the "monster" that she is said to be. When Cathy is caught with the couple of boys in the barn she becomes shocked by the whole situation and refuses to speak. This event played a huge role in her development being she was only ten.

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  9. Cathy was able to disguise herself really well, but both of her parents had moments were they doubted cathy. Her father always had disbelief about her, in the way she always found trinkets and money but they were never reclaimed. Her mother doubted her when Cathy first said she wouldn't go to school and her mother told her that her father would punish her for not going and Cathy gave the mother a look that made her afraid of Cathy. "Cathy turned her head very slowly and looked at her mother. Her eyes were expressionless and cold. And suddeny Ms.Ames was afraud of her daughter." I would describe Cathy as being coldly logical, like a computer. She doesn't think about how it feels or does to others, she just finds the most efficient and logical way to get what she, and only she, wants. I do believe she was born with this because there was nothing that happened in her life to change her to be like this, and she was doing stuff like this by the age of ten.

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  10. Cathy Ames is a natural born monster because she monipulates people nd destroys them basically for her own amusement. When she was a child she caused harm to basically everyone she had a relationship with. She even uses the fact shes a woman to mess with men. When Cathy runs away and goes to a whorehouse with Mr. Edwards. When he begins to threaten her Adam saves her and the two stay together. They get married but then Cathy cheats on Adam with his brother, Charles. She gets pregnent but she doesnt know if it's adam's or charles' baby. She tries to abort it with a needle. That doesnt work so she gives birth but leaves a few days after and shoots adam in the shoulder when he tries to stop her. Cathy is a beautiful person on the outsde but that doesn't reflect her personality at all.

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  11. I believe wholeheartedly that Cathy from East of Eden is a monster. She lies, steels, flirts, and manipulates her way through life to get whatever it is she wants. She is a natural born monster because she has no moral compass. She doesn't think, or care, that her actions will affect anyone else other than her self. Many characters are not able to see through her lies and they try to find the best in her, only to realize that she is a cold cruel person who is willing to do whatever it takes to get her own satisfaction.

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  12. I believe that Cathy can disguise her from who she really is because she knows what her parents expect from her so she does exactly that to please them. She puts on a fake smile to pretend that she is an "angel" when secretly she is the complete opposite. "Cathy learned quickly She found him out and knw him, and once she had learned she screamed, she writhed, she cried, she begged, and she had the satisfaction of feeling that blows instantly become lighter" (83). I viewed her a natural born monster because from the age of 10 she already was causng trouble, but putting on the innocent face to get others introuble.

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  13. She is able to disguise who she really is because she is so pretty, people wouldn''t think this sweet little girl could actually be a monster and comit the acts that she does. I would describe her as a natural born monster because she chooses to do these terrible things, no one is making her or influencing her. It is her own will and choice to do these things.

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  14. Steinbeck emphaises his point of how there are "monsters" throughout the world by introducing the character Cathy in Chapter 8 of East of Eden. Cathy is the apidimy of an absolute monster. She is twisted mentally and feels the need to manipulate and take advantage of every situation. Cathy is shown as being not only being selfish but also as a murder. Her two parents are worried for their daughter Cathy after all the terrible things they think have occured to her when in reality they were all staged and Cathy brought the events upon herself. Cathy murders her parents, steals all their money, and burns their own house down, all in the same night. Cathy is the defenition of what a "monsster" is.

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  15. Cathy is a monster. However, I don't think that she intends any of her actions to be terrible, she just lacks the concern for others and the perspective to realize the true depth of her decisions. She uses her abnormalities and differences to get what she wants and doesn't concern herself with whether or not people percieve her as the monster she truely is.

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  16. Cathy is able to hide her true self. People are distracted by her outer beauty and are unable to see how evil she is. She is a natural born monster because she takes advantage of her situation. She tricks people into thinking she is a different person. People assume her to be an innocent girl. Steinbeck makes her out to be a monster who hides her evil intentions with her outer beauty.

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  17. From a glance Cathy Ames is perfect. She is beautiful, smart, and hard working. She seems like the child every parents dreams of having. But as you go more in depth to her twisted personality, she is a twisted girl. She realized that she is beautiful and she can make men do whatever she wants them to do. But no one suspects her of doing these things, her mother wanted to kill the two boys but it was really Cathy's fault. Cathy is messed up, she burns down her own hous and kills both of her parents. And then later on in the book she torments another man until he almost kills her, and then she goes on to mess with Adam's head. Cathy Ames is a brilliant psychopath.

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  18. I think Cathy is able to disguise her true self because she is beautiful. I would describe Cathy as disturbed but also extremely intelligent. When talking about Cathy, her father says, "She's smarter than some men I could name...she might be running the business someday," (page 85). She knows how to manipulate situations to work in her favor. I don't think Cathy is a natural born monster, I think he became a monster because of her environment and the things she experienced. "The way I see it, that's just a kind of energy. If you just check it and keep it in control, why, it will go in the right direction," (page 85). This quote shows how Cathy really can manipulate people. To her parents, her good behavior was "a kind of energy" and they thought that it was great that she had it, but that's exactly what she wanted them to think because she didn't want them to know what she was really thinking or planning.

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  19. I belive that Cathy is a natural born monster. She is not nice to anyone she gets close to and is a cold-blooded killer. She is not even sad after she steals from everyone and even burns down her own house, killing her parents. She uses her beauty to make relationships with people and be a whore.

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  20. I think that Cathy is very good a deciving the people around her, about her true nature. In the book she just casually murders a chicken and puts all its blood in a jar and no one ever finds out. After her fater beats her she becomes a "normal" helpful girl but this is all a facade. She has an evil within her: she smiles when her teacher dies and its implied she burned down her house with her paretns trapped inside and stole all her parents money. This is defenitly part of her nature, because she had a typical childhood.

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  21. Cathy is able to desguise herself as a normal person because she is pretty. I would describe Cathy as a cunning monster. She acts normal and seems normal to the naked eye but, once you figure out her story and dig deeper you realize she is a mastermind. Everyone feels a subtle disturbance when she enters the room but, no one can figure it out. Steinbeck writes, "Cathy knew nt only these impulse in others but how to use them for her own gain," (Steinbeck 75). She manipulates people in the worst of ways yet sh seems innocent to everyone around her. She was born a natural monster and was very good at it. She saw other people as different and herself as a god basically.

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  22. I believe that in way Cathy is a natural born monster. She lies, steals, and flirts with men to get what she wants. As stated in the book, "And just as a cripple may learn to utilize his lack so that he becomes more effective in a limited field than the uncripple, so did Cathy, using her difference, make a painful and bewildering stir in her world" (72-3). Cathy is able to hide who she is very well. People seem to be mesmerized by her beauty and she takes advantage of it. I think because people are so trapped by her beauty they never look past her to see who she truly is.

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  23. I dont think Cathy is disguising herself, I think she is just playing with people's minds so they will think specifically about her. "Even as a child she had some quality that made people look at her, then look away, then look back at her, troubled at something foreign" ( Pg,73) She's not pretending to be some one else, just getting people to think she is. I would describe Cathy as deviant and manipulative with her whole 'act of innocence.' Cathy is a natural born "monster", some people just naturally have the 'gift' of cruelty.

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  24. Cathy is definitely a monster. She is manipulative and uses the other characters to get what she wants. She has the ability to see inside people and know what motivates them. She is very cunning and has no remorse for her actions.The fact that she is good looking makes many people give her the benefit of the doubt, which she takes advantage of.

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  25. I do think that Cathy Ames is a monster. I do think she hides this side of her through her other characteristics, "... Cathy had from the first a face of innocence. Her hair was gold and lovely; wideset hazel eyes..." The traits that she holds make people see her in a light that isn't truely who she is. Her only intrest is herself and she won't stop at anything to satisfy herself. She tortures these men and they don't really know what theyre getting into because of the way she looks on the outside.

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  26. I think that Cathy is just a curious person who looks into things and takes an unbaised position on them because of her nature. Also she has been exposed to such taboos at such a young age that she has not really been influenced by society yet with right and wrong. She kills her parents because they beat her. Killing is a very natural human emotion that has only been going on since the beginning of humanity. Her parents pushed her to the edge and she responded. This combined with her not really being influenced by society explains her nature and why she did what she did.

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  27. Yes, Cathy is able to put on a mask of lies and deceive whomever she wishes to. She is manipulative, deceitful, and selfish. She only wishes to further her own goals, whatever way possible. She was born beautiful, only making it easier for her to use her looks to betray others. This beauty was given to her at birth, as well as her monstrous nature. She is a "natural born monster," no doubt about it. Steinbeck has personified the essence of malicious intent and betrayal though Cathy. If the Biblical reference still holds, Cathy represents Satan/the serpent.

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  28. I think Cathy Ames is a natural born monster. She uses her beauty as a tool to manipulate and deceive people. She uses her body to get those two boys in trouble, and she uses her brains to get out of the murder of her family. Shes able to disguise her true identity because she is so beautiful and smart. After she kills her parents and people can't find her body they do not even consider the fact that she might have been the one to start the fire. They say, "'She was so pretty'" (88), and only think of her as the victim. She prostitutes her body at a young age and grows into a cruel, lying, manipulative person with no values. Shes very well educated and no one suspects her because of her beauty. She figures out how to get what she wants and avoid any trouble.

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  29. Cathy is a natural born monster but she is very good at disguising it. Cathy is very manipulative,hurts the people around her, and lies. Cathy uses her innocent, beautiful appearance as a mask for her evil.

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  30. Cathy Ames, is a natural born monster. She was born with great beauty and used that to hide her evil in plain sight.She had an innocents in her face that made every look at her but see nothing wrong. I would describe Cathy as devious. She lies, but her lies are mixed with truth so that no one would ever expect she was lying. She use other weakness, especially there sexuality, against them at an early age. She use two fourteen year old boys and when she gets caught in the act, she planed for it and set them up to get in huge trouble. She killed her parents, she is a monster. She is personified.

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  31. Cathy is not able to disguise who she really is because she does not realize that she is different from other children. Even if she does not say anything people look at her constantly. Cathy is a quiet child and doesn´t have a specific aim: For example, she decides to be a teacher and works hard at school but one day she doesn´t want to go school anymore so she runs away. I would not call her a monster but she is different and will never be able to change her personality: ¨She never conformed in dress or conduct. She wore whatever she wanted to. The result was that quite often other children imitated her¨ (Steinbeck 74).

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  32. Cathy is a natural born monster. Cathy is a 25 year old woman trapped in a 10 years olds body. She manipulates people into doing what she wants. She uses sex to trap boys and use them. She uses the two school boys to test her still of manipulation; she gets them sent to a correctional facility. She also has a relationship with her Latin teacher which causes him to commit suicide. She is a monster. She also punishes her parents buy killing them. She is smart her was able to cover up the murder steal from them and fake her own death. She is a natural born monster.

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