* NOTICE: Mr. Center's Wall is on indefinite hiatus. Got something to say about it? Click HERE and type.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

East of Eden XLV -- chpt45: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

There's not a lot in the way of brain-busting philosophy, metaphor, analogy, or anything else, at least for the sheer size of this chapter.  Mostly it's just a plot device, and inasmuch as it is a plot device, I can't help but show what it makes me think of.  As you watch the opening credits of Catch Me If You Can, imagine how it would look if it took place just thirty or forty years earlier, and with the thug, Joe, in place of Hanks' character, and the old bag, Ethel, in for DiCaprio.

  1. In part 4, there's a pair of paragraphs in which Cathy thinks about Aron.  By this paragraph, what are the similarities--perhaps unthinkable before and now possible for her articulation--between them?  It's easy to think that if indeed the two boys have two fathers that Cal is the son of Charles.  What if it were the other way around simply for particular traits being perhaps triggered differently?  Justify this possibility, based on Aron's traits and what we remember of Charles (regardless of what she says in the third paragraph of the grouping).
  2. Every once in a while there's a revelation of humanity from Cathy.  Why doesn't she want Aron to know who she is?


  1. 1. It seems as though they look similar and both have a general lack of moral complexity. I think you may be getting at something else, but I'm not sure what it is.
    2. I'm still trying to figure out if it's humanity. If it is, has Cathy, "gone soft," after all these years? Steinbeck starts out by describing her as a monster, essentially soulless. Now she is getting a mysterious pain. Why? Is it possible she wants to invite him to New York just for the irony of it all? Maybe she could get some cruel sort of amusement out of the idea of him loving her and thinking that she has been the perfect woman all of these years. But the pain part would seem to undercut this. I don't know. Rather un-monstrous, if you ask me.

  2. 1 -- the lack of moral complexity, I think, is just it, and for it, I think Aron's potential for being as evil as Cathy is greater than Cal's. I just rewatched the movie, "The Fountain," by Aronofsky, and there are a few scenes with the "grand inquisitor" going after the pagans and damned. He is just as evil as the worst mass murderer, and perhaps more so for performing his killings in the name of God. Would he be guilty, in any way morally (because no matter what, he'd be guilty legally), if her were to go and execute his mother and all the other whores in the state?
    2 -- I think her desire to bring Aron to NY is solely for the irony and pleasure of it. The humanity I sense is in the moment that she doesn't want him to know what she is, as if there's a modicum of shame in her position in the world, and though she doesn't care who else knows it, there's something about Aron and his angelic purity that she wants to preserve, and not destroy by revealing herself to him. I think when she starts musing over moving to NY and luring him after her, it's in consolation to her evil ego--an apology--for considering something so humane, like she denying such an urge even existed within her.


Be sure to subscribe to the thread to receive discussion updates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...