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For most of the book, Cole views them with contempt. He sees them as controlling figures that neither understand nor appreciate him. In particular Cole has much pent up anger against his parents, "What jerks! He hated his parents." Cole addresses the men who will eventually bring him salvation with contempt. When Edwin asks Cole to turn his clothes inside out, Cole replies with a sarcastic, "Get real old man". This is Cole’s attitude for much of the story until he has his final conversion towards the end.