East of Eden

The scene when Adam first confronts Cathy is remarkable. Note how her body is described, her hands. How does steinbeck convey Cathy's physical decline and Adam's response to her?

In the scene where Adam confronts Cathy at the brothel.

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By this time, Cathy is not so beautiful anymore. Prostitutes tend not to age very well. Adam notes that she looks like "some secret and predatory animal." Cathy is her same acrid self but she seems more nervous. She begins to drink and pulls out pictures of all the high powered men that her whores have slept with. Her body language is furtive and desperate. She is trying to hold onto something, anything that can validate her existence. Adam realizes what she has become, what she always was. He finally states, "Now I can forget it". As Adam goes to leave Cathy feels her hold on him vanishing. She yells for the bouncer who knocks her down. Adam leaves with a satisfied smirk on his face; he is finally done with her.

oops, I meant the bouncer knocks Adam down.