East of Eden

East of Eden

Catherine Trask (Kate) Character Analysis

Catherine is born without kindness, empathy, or any goodness at all. She learns to manipulate people at an early age, taking pleasure in the destruction and degradation of other people’s lives. She eventually runs away and becomes the lover of Edwards, a man who runs a whorehouse. She makes him fall in love with her and then drains him of his wealth and dignity and he finally lashes out and tries to kill her. She survives, and crawls to the doorstep of the Trask brothers, Charles and Adam. Adam helps her recuperate, marries her, and moves her to California with him. There, she bears him two sons, and then almost immediately leaves him. She then works her way up in a whorehouse in Salinas, blackmailing, abusing, and manipulating her way into ownership of the establishment. Eventually her lies and crimes catch up with her, as she grows old and feeble. She finally kills herself with morphine, leaving her fortune to her son Aron.

Catherine Trask (Kate) Quotes in East of Eden

The East of Eden quotes below are all either spoken by Catherine Trask (Kate) or refer to Catherine Trask (Kate). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of East of Eden published in 1952.
Chapter 8 Quotes

And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

Related Characters: John Steinbeck (speaker), Catherine Trask (Kate)
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est labo

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Chapter 9 Quotes

Catherine was clever, but even a clever woman misses some of the strange corridors of man.

Related Characters: John Steinbeck (speaker), Catherine Trask (Kate)
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 15 Quotes

Then a breeze would move her bright hair, or she would raise her eyes, and Adam would swell out in his stomach with a pressure of ecstasy that was close kin to grief.

Related Characters: John Steinbeck (speaker), Adam Trask, Catherine Trask (Kate)
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 25 Quotes

“That’s what I hate, the liars, and they’re all liars…I love to rub their noses in their own nastiness.”

Related Characters: Catherine Trask (Kate) (speaker), Adam Trask
Page Number: 322
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 38 Quotes

“Of course you may have that in you. Everybody has. But you’ve got the other too.”

Related Characters: Lee (speaker), Catherine Trask (Kate), Caleb “Cal” Trask
Page Number: 449
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in r

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Catherine Trask (Kate) Character Timeline in East of Eden

The timeline below shows where the character Catherine Trask (Kate) appears in East of Eden. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
...born with monstrous psychological deformities; children in possession of a “malformed soul.” The narrator believes Cathy Ames is one of these monsters. Cathy was born with an innocent face and small,... (full context)
Identity Theme Icon
Eventually Cathy grows tired of obeying her parents, and carries out a sadistic plot: she burns her... (full context)
Chapter 9
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Catherine goes to a local whorehouse run by a man named Mr. Edwards. She sells him... (full context)
Chapter 11
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
...that Charles call the doctor and carries the woman (who the reader can assume is Catherine) to bed. Adam cares for her passionately, and protects her from the invasive questioning of... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
As Cathy starts to get better, Charles begins to mistrust her more and more. In a private... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...She says she’ll think about it. Five days later, Adam tells Charles that he and Cathy are married. Charles is appalled and says he won’t live in the same house with... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
When Adam tells Cathy they are leaving, she says she doesn’t want to go, but he doesn’t listen to... (full context)
Chapter 13
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Cathy brings “glory” into the life of Adam Trask. He imagines her as a perfect woman;... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
Adam, delighted to hear that Catherine is pregnant, becomes interested in a large piece of property for sale along the river.... (full context)
Chapter 15
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...the future. He has a great appetite for life, and is ecstatically in love with Cathy. Meanwhile, Cathy’s greatest virtue as a criminal is her patience; she endures her pregnancy and... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
...wells—he tells Sam he means to build a garden, a kind of paradise, and make Catherine into his Eve. Sam pokes fun at Adam’s naiveté, but promises he will find him... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
...dinner. Sam agrees, but finds dinner to be excruciatingly awkward. He sees something terrifying in Cathy, but cannot put his finger on what it is. Her cold distance gives him the... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Adam and Cathy sit under a tree as the sun sets. Adam describes to her all of his... (full context)
Chapter 16
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
...back from the Trask property he tries to understand why he is feeling so uneasy. Cathy’s eyes had reminded him of something—it comes suddenly to him in a flash: as a... (full context)
Chapter 17
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
The narrator muses about the nature of Cathy’s monstrosity. He notes it is easy to say that Cathy was bad, but difficult to... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Cathy’s pregnancy advances quickly—he grows unusually large in the stomach for a woman her size. She... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Sam goes into the bedroom and Cathy looks furious. He manages to get her to tell him how far apart her contractions... (full context)
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Lee tries to clean up Sam’s wound, and they talk about Cathy. Sam says he “feels a dreadfulness coming” and Lee agrees, but both men worry they... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
...asks her how it went. Liza remarks that, though she can find no fault with Cathy, she dislikes her. Sam notes that Cathy has put a spell on Adam—that he can’t... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Cathy rests for a week, until one day Adam enters her room to find her holding... (full context)
Chapter 18
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
...won’t tell him anything and who seems mentally disturbed. But eventually the sheriff hears that Catherine Trask has holed up in a whorehouse in Salinas. The sheriff decides not to tell... (full context)
Chapter 19
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
...lose some of their young virtue. Faye is puzzled by a new girl—who calls herself Kate—who is not like any woman Faye had come across before. Kate is too pretty to... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
After Kate has been at the house for about a year, Faye asks her what the sheriff... (full context)
Chapter 20
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
One afternoon Faye begs Kate to give up her work—she offers to give Kate a home and a life free... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
That night Kate tells the girls not to come in to see Faye at all—for Faye is quite... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
Faye then tells Kate she is going to give her a present now. Faye takes out a sheet of... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Kate’s filters and defenses break down. She begins to spit cruel insults at Faye, calling her... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Kate begins to sober up and a feeling of dread comes over her. Kate puts Faye... (full context)
Chapter 21
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Kate begins to execute her plans, with characteristic slowness and patience. She spreads around the news... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
That night at supper Kate fixes Faye a meal of canned string bean salad. She mixes two drops from one... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Kate goes in to see Faye, calling her mother, and stroking her check. She then puts... (full context)
Chapter 22
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Adam Trask has drawn into himself; Cathy’s departure has caused a great sickness in his mind. For a while Lee and Sam... (full context)
Time Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...feels like he is waking up from a deep sleep. Sam says Adam has built Cathy up in his mind, but he’s never really seen her for what she is. Sam... (full context)
Chapter 24
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
...feels shame for letting his land go to waste. Sam realizes Adam has never let Cathy go. Sam says that the only way to live your life when bad memories creep... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
...and might kill him. Adam says he wants that medicine, and Sam tells Adam that Cathy is the owner of the most violent and depraved whorehouse in Salinas. Adam is left... (full context)
Chapter 25
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
...cemetery early and walks to a bar. He asks the bartender about a place called “Kate’s.” The bartender tells him to not mess with a place like Kate’s, and tells him... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Adam arrives at Kate’s in the evening. The woman at the door tells Adam that Kate is not available,... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Adam cannot stop smiling. He asks Kate why she has so much hate in her. Kate tells him ever since she was... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Kate changes gears and tries to seduce Adam. Adam is not susceptible to her charm anymore.... (full context)
Chapter 26
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Adam should have been sad and bitter after Sam’s death and his conversation with Kate, but instead he feels euphoric. He goes to see Will Hamilton, who has been selling... (full context)
Chapter 30
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
...to bed Adam and Lee talk about Charles’s letter. They realize that because Adam and Cathy have never divorced, the way the will is written stipulates that Cathy has a right... (full context)
Chapter 31
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
The next day, Adam goes to see Kate about the inheritance. He tells her she is entitled to half of the money, and... (full context)
Chapter 38
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
...town drunk, who becomes confused about who Cal is and invites him to go to Kate’s place with him. Cal goes. What Cal sees the women doing at Kate’s doesn’t make... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
...But, Lee continues, Adam has almost too much kindness and conscience in him, and when Cathy left, something died inside Adam. Cal begins to shake, and Lee asks him what is... (full context)
Chapter 39
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
...that he does not even hate his mother, revealing to Adam that he knows of Catherine’s whereabouts. Adam responds calmly, and asks if Aron knows. Cal swears he will do everything... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...such a bright mood that Lee thinks Cal has a girlfriend. Cal takes to following Catherine around town when she runs her errands once a week—he feels the more he knows... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
When they are settled in Kate’s office, Kate asks Cal what he wants. He says he doesn’t want anything. He tells... (full context)
Chapter 40
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
After her meeting with Cal, Kate calms herself by touching a small vial she keeps hanging on a chain around her... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
For a long time Kate doesn’t think of Ethyl, but slowly the idea that she is out there begins to... (full context)
Chapter 44
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Abra, in a moment of courage, asks Lee if Mrs. Trask is still alive. Lee says yes. Just then Cal enters the kitchen. He is elated,... (full context)
Chapter 45
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Joe Valery, Kate’s henchman, grows more curious about Kate’s obsession with Ethyl. He wonders what information Ethyl has... (full context)
Chapter 48
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Joe Valery continues to collect gossip about Kate, and realizes she is likely a very dangerous woman. In the meantime the girls of... (full context)
Chapter 49
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
...for loving Aron better, and knows Aron is only the favorite because he looks like Catherine, whom Adam will never get over. He bitterly chides himself for trying to buy his... (full context)
Chapter 50
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Kate’s arthritis is getting worse—her hands are gnarled and there are pains through all of her... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Money, Wealth, and the Value of Work Theme Icon
Catherine thinks back to her childhood, and to her childhood love for Alice in Wonderland. She... (full context)
Chapter 51
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
When Joe Valery comes back to Kate’s office and finds her dead, he searches her desk for valuables. He finds the envelope... (full context)
Good, Evil, and the Human Soul Theme Icon
Time Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Religion, Myth, and the Power of Stories Theme Icon
Lee finds Cal, and tells him that his mother committed suicide. Lee explains softly that people, especially Americans, who are spectacularly excessive, who throw... (full context)