In what way can Cathy be seen as an Eve figure in John Steinbeck's East of Eden?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Cathy Ames is indeed presented by Steinbeck as an Eve character, but as a corrupted version of her. Although the original Eve succumbed to the devious wiles of the devil and ate of the tree of knowledge, she was by no means an evil character as such. The same most certainly cannot be said of Cathy. She positively embraces evil as a deliberate lifestyle choice. Whereas Eve sinned out of ignorance, Cathy sins because she wants to and because she can. If anything, Cathy takes on the role of the serpent in Genesis, as we see when she tempts Charles into sleeping with her, even though he's had ample warning as to just what kind of a person she is.

Cathy, like Eve, leaves behind a bequest...

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