Adam Trask In John Steinbeck's East Of Eden

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In his thought-provoking novel, East of Eden, John Steinbeck illustrates the stages of Adam Trask’s life to prove that human beings have the God-given power to choose light over darkness. Specifically, Chapter 31 provides insight into Cathy’s character and quells the quandaries: What is a monster, and does Cathy constitute one? Simultaneously, the chapter reveals that Trask is strong enough to shake off his personal demons long before Aron’s death and the gasp “Timshel!” (Steinbeck 602). These revelations are collectively vital to the text’s development. Having reached Chapter 31, readers know that Cathy’s actions are monstrous and inhumane - fiendish, even - but, as Steinbeck aptly puts it earlier in the novel, “it is easy to say that she…show more content…
“You’re changed, Mr. Mouse,” utters Cathy, and indeed he is (Steinbeck 384). Having spent ages mourning his lost love, Adam was once a hollow addict, incapacitated by mere thoughts of Cathy. In this chapter, Adam’s nascent understanding of Cathy allows him to tear the leash with which she tyrannized his heart, and this moves her, as she shakes with “rage” and “sorrow” for her loss of control (Steinbeck 385). Adam’s indifference further enrages Cathy; Not only has she lost a victim, but has also lost an opponent in Adam. She cannot play her game because Adam has called her bluff, her weakness, her blindness to life’s “color green” (Steinbeck 385). Just like the Bible’s Adam, Trask was wounded by the Devil’s shotgun but ultimately belongs to the light, as readers begin to see in Chapter 31. Adam’s character reveals that the first part of accepting salvation (whether religious or not) is to deny untruth, purging the darkest aspects of one’s reality. Perhaps this is how he was later able to forgive Cal - because he himself had experienced the black, miserable darkness and knew that his son could choose love and a radiant

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