Free Study Guide for East of Eden by John Steinbeck|
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Although he tried, Mr. Edwards could not restore his high opinion of Catherine. He began to set spies on her and seek information about her past. He found out about the suspicious fire in her hometown. One day he gathered his things for a trip, including the quirt he used to whip prostitutes, and went to Catherine’s house to insist that she go with him. He also went to the basement and found her stash of money. Catherine was suddenly afraid of him. She decided she should go on the trip and try to regain the upper hand.
When the train stopped at a small town, Mr. Edwards made Catherine get off with him. He then led her down a country road, where he began to beat her, first with his whip, then with his fists, and finally with a stone. When he saw her bloody face, he panicked, stopped himself, and ran away, leaving his suitcase behind. When he returned home, he was a nervous wreck. His wife nursed him back to health. When Catherine came to consciousness, she crawled to a nearby farmhouse owned by the Trasks.
In this chapter, the rising action of the plot begins in earnest. . The characters have begun to come together. Cathy Ames, posing as Catherine Amesbury, interviewed for a job as a prostitute with Mr. Edwards. Mysteriously attracted to her, he hired her for his own purposes. Before long he was wildly in love with her. When he found out she was stealing from him, had a suspicious past, and thought of him as a "fat slug," he decided that he would beat her. The brutality of Mr. Edwards was chilling. On the surface, he was a respectable man who was simply involved in a shady business. He cared for his wife, who was a pillar of her church community, and provided well for her. But he treated the prostitutes shabbily, controlling their lives and beating them with a quirt when they did not follow his orders.
Never caring for Mr. Edwards, Cathy only used him, stealing and hoarding his money. She went with him on the trip out of fear and in hopes of again gaining the upper hand with him. She was totally unprepared for the beating that she received. When Edwards left her a bloody mess, she crawled to the nearest farmhouse. Ironically, Cathy has arrived at the Trask farm, which can only spell trouble.
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. 09 May 2017