East of Eden

Cathy Ames's Manipulative Power in East of Eden

"Sexuality with all its attendant yearnings and pains, jealousies and taboos, is the most disturbing impulse humans have" (Steinbeck 75). To Cathy Ames, a seductively charismatic sociopath, sexuality and the vulnerability that accompanies it is the biggest downfall of humans. She discovers the key to controlling anyone is through such impulses. At age ten she takes advantage of two boys through their sexuality, and then proceeds to frame them to get what she wants. This behavior continues for the rest of her life, as she spends most of it at various whorehouses manipulating the owners until it is clear that she is the one who truly runs the establishment. Cathy feels so comfortable at a whorehouse, a place where she controls people through their sexuality, because she herself possesses no weakness to such impulses, and therefore uses everyone else's vulnerability to gain control.

At a young age, Cathy Ames realizes the power she has over other people through their sexuality, and how she can use such a vulnerability to take advantage of them. The first example of this behavior is when she tricks two young boys at the age of ten. While looking for her daughter, Cathy's mother hears giggling coming from the...

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