East of Eden: Novel Summary: Part I Chapter 9 - 11

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Chapters 9-11
After killing her parents, Cathy reemerges as Catherine Amesbury, a burgeoning prostitute. She approaches Mr. Edwards, a successful whoremaster who runs a ring of prostitutes in small inns throughout New England. He lives a respectable life otherwise; his devout wife knows nothing about his trade. Although he thought himself immune to the wiles of women, Edwards, however, is taken completely off guard by his powerful sexual attraction to the delicate Cathy and cannot stand the idea of another man possessing her. He keeps her in luxury, giving her a house, and she steals from him with his full knowledge after Cathy lures him into her web. In time, he learns of the fire in which she killed her parents and after a night of drinking-he forces Cathy to drink wine-he sees her true evil nature. After she threatens his life, he beats her viciously, almost to death, and leaves her near the Trask farm.
 
Although they are rich and don't ever need to work again, Charles and Adam work the farm, arguing constantly over domestic issues such as getting up early. Adam leaves for South America and returns to find Charles has increased the acreage.
 
After they find the unconscious and bloody Cathy on their back steps, Adam's tender nature emerges and he falls in love but Charles worries about their reputation and insists that Cathy leaves. When the sheriff questions her about the beating, she feigns amnesia. Charles is not fooled, however, and this scares Cathy who senses in him a dark nature similar to her. Adam, on the other hand, is completely blind to her manipulative ways and asks her to marry him so he can protect her. Charles is furious. On their wedding night, Cathy insists she is still too injured to sleep with her husband, then drugs him, and finds her way to his brother's bed. Allowing her in, Charles calls Adam a "poor bastard." Adam is thus betrayed by both wife and brother on his wedding night.
 
Analysis
Cathy Amesbury, whose evil aims are buried, represents evil incarnate. She causes chaos, pain and death wherever she goes. She also represents the biblical Eve who first brought evil into the world when she ate the forbidden fruit. She also marries the love-besotted Adam and causes his downfall by bringing evil into his world. Charles and Cathy mirror each other like evil twins. Indeed, her wounds leave a scar-the mark of Cain-similar to Charles' scar. Cathy cannot fool Charles about her evil nature and links herself to him by seeking him out sexually on her wedding night. Cathy's behavior is hardly surprising given her immoral past, but this action on the part of Charles demonstrates the depth of his depravity and his evil nature. Earlier he said to Cathy, "I think you are a devil." In effect, by sleeping with his brother's wife, he sleeps, or mates, with the devil.

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