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East of Eden Analysis of Passages


Mr. Ames was not good at whipping because he had never done it. He lashed at Cathy’s legs with the buggy whip, and when she stood quietly staring at him with calm cold eyes he lost his temper. The first blows were tentative and timid, but when she did not cry he slashed at her sides and shoulders. The whip licked and cut. In his rage he missed her several times or got too close so that the whip wrapped around her body.

Cathy learned quickly. She found him out and knew him, and once she had learned she screamed, she writhed, she cried, she begged, and she had the satisfaction of feeling the blows instantly become lighter.

Mr. Ames was frightened at the noise and hurt he was creating. He stopped. Cathy dropped back on the bed, sobbing. And if he had looked, her father would have seen that there were no tears in her eyes, but rather the muscles of her neck were tight and there were lumps just under her temples where the jaw muscles knotted.

He said, “Now, will you ever do that again?”

“No, oh, no! Forgive me,” Cathy said. She turned over on the bed so that her father could not see the coldness in her face.

“See you remember who you are. And don’t forget what I am.”

Cathy’s voice caught. She produced a dry sob. “I won’t forget,” she said.

In the kitchen Mrs. Ames wrestled her hands. Her husband put his fingers on her shoulder.

“I hated to do it,” he said. “I had to. And I think it did her good. She seems like a changed girl to me. Maybe we haven’t bent the twig enough. We’ve spared the rod. Maybe we were wrong.” And he knew that although his wife had insisted on the whipping, although she had forced him to whip Cathy, she hated him for doing it. Despair settled over him.

There seemed no doubt that it was what Cathy needed. As Mr. Ames said, “It kind of opened her up.”



This passage clearly portrays the beginning of Cathy’s story. As foreshadowed in the earlier paragraphs of this chapter, Cathy lacks a conscience which makes her unseemingly dangerous. However, up until this point of the novel, the vivacious fury that embodies her character had been quietly hiding away. Like a child, the monstrous tendencies which had gloomed in Cathy lived in a careful balance of reward and punishment. Any traditionally considered incorrect behavior, was done occasionally and with great respect of fear and punishment. This can be seen through Cathy’s reaction when her mother had caught her nakedly playing with two boys. As stated in the novel, when Cathy was caught, her eyes were “blank with terror” (75).  This makes it clear that Cathy so greatly feared punishment  at this point in this novel that she was truly terrified. Thus, prior to this passage, it is evident that Cathy’s violent, monstrous capabilities were in a state of childlike motion, waning and waxing as deemed appropriate by her fear of punishment.  However, when the internal evils in Cathy took notice of the cruelty in others, they quickly blossomed into adulthood as they learned to manipulate. This transition into adulthood can be seen in this passage. As shown above, when Cathy’s father took to whipping Cathy, she almost immediately developed a way of manipulating his punishment in order to suit her needs; Cathy noticed that when she cried or screamed louder, her father would be gentler on the whip. Through this, Cathy’s inner devil grew to its potential as it could now manipulate others in order to avoid punishment.  The devil no longer shied away from Cathy’s conscious in fear of punishment, as it could now control others  and its very own fear of punishment through manipulation. Thus, Cathy’s story began, or as Mr. Ames said, “it[the whipping] kind of opened her up”.

Marry Go Round- Kacy Musgraves
If you ain’t got two kids by 21, you’re probably gonna die alone.
At least that’s what tradition told you.
And it don’t matter if you don’t believe, come Sunday morning
You best be there in the front row like you’re supposed to.
 These lyrics have a connection with me because I feel like everyone just does what everyone expects them to do. No one goes and follow their dreams anymore. Everyone has these expectations and judge people by what they want in life. For example: I don’t want to live in Rochester when I am older and I want to start new adventures. People expect me to stay in town and live next door to my parents.
The thing that personally makes me relate to this song is the lyrics that are representing the song and the meaning behind the song. Saying people get bored in life and so they decide to settle instead of follow their dreams!
The connection to the speaker and the audience is the way the artist lyrics has away for people to understand and relate to what is being said.
What is attracted me to the song was the title of the song and who the artist was. I loved the artists other songs and I found this one which makes a personal connections.
This song makes me want to live my life the way I want to and not let anyone tell me what I can and cannot do. I want to go fra in life and not let anyone’s opinion stop me from living my dreams.
Shake it Off – Taylor Swift
In my mind, saying it’s gonna be alright
Cause the players gonna play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
These lyrics have a connection with me because not everyone is going to like you and you need to get over it. I always hear the term “someone will always be better” and that is okay because you are you and that is what matters. What other people think is not important unless it affects you in a major way. There are some cases people need to be told what is wrong but that is your choice to let it go and “shake it off” or take it personally.
The thing that personally relates me to this song is that I used to take what people think really personally. I have never been liked by everyone and that is okay with me because I am happy with myself and that is what counts.
The connection between the speaker and the audience because a lot of people can relate to these lyrics and need to become more confident with themselves and not have to rely on others thoughts to make up there own mind.
What makes me attracted to this song was defiantly the artiest and the beat of the song.