The Garden of Eden

by Ernest Hemingway

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What are some examples of ways Catherine needed to control all aspects of life in The Garden of Eden?

How does this relate to her actions toward Marita and David?


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Catherine first interrupts their honeymoon by picking up Marita, expecting David to enter into the menage a trois. Once David begins writing, Catherine starts making more demands of him because she views his writing as being "disloyal" to her and their marriage. Catherine becomes more abusive when David's novel is a big success. Her anger is caused by David's growing fame, or she's afraid his fame will overshadow her. Catherine cuts her hair short and insists that David do the same, also bleaching his hair the same color as Catherine's. A man bleaching his hair was unheard of at the time, and this emasculates David, making him feel even less of a man. Catherine wants to strip David of his manliness in order to control him. She doesn't even allow him to drive her car. Catherine takes David's identity from him, and the only thing he has left that distinguishes him from Catherine is his writing.

Catherine then begins interfering with David's writing. She insults the African stories and then destroys them. David can't believe her cruelty, and he admits that their marriage is over. In trying to keep David, she destroys him and their marriage. She adds insult to injury when she offers to pay him for his stories, unable to realize that no amount of money can replace them. The stories were the best of David's writing, representing his very heart and soul.

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