Caleb Trask Character Analysis

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The world is full of good and evil, with people constantly battling between the two. The essence of these two qualities are present everywhere, including within ourselves. Some people are seen to be more villainous than others because of their actions, but this is not always the truth. In the novel East of Eden by John Steinbeck, many characters are misunderstood and recognized as evil. One of these characters is Caleb Trask. Cal may be seen as a cold and wicked character, but the reader is able to notice the good within him because of his longing for affection and his strive to be kind. Cal Trask, simply looking at only his actions, is purely malicious. Though when it is expressed that everything he does is in hope of gaining someone’s …show more content…
He knew his brother had found him out. And he felt a longing for Aron to love him. He felt lost and hungry and he didn’t know what to do” (Steinbeck 372). The motives behind Cal’s actions are unclear, even to him. As Cal begins to realize that what he craves more than anything is love, the reader can then start to sympathize for Cal. Cal goes to great measures to earn the affection of his family, including things that appear to be vile. The reader most likely considers a wealthy man robbing poor farmers of their money during the war corrupt. Yet when the reader encounters the fact that Cal was only doing this in order to gain his father’s love, there is a certain respect and admiration associated with his behavior. Then as Adam rejects Cal’s thoughtful gift, the reader acquires even more sympathy for Cal because no matter how hard he tries, he never is able to achieve his goal of pleasing his father. The Trasks’ butler, Lee, states when Cal and his brother are just babies, “The …show more content…
As the reader takes a closer look at Cal’s background, they can begin to offer him sympathy. Cal’s behavior is justified by the lack of affection in his life and proof that he is, in truth, a very loving young man. Cal exhibits the idea of how kindness can often go unidentified, and how acts of evil stand out more than acts of compassion. While reading East of Eden, society can sympathize with Cal because he feels unloved and selfish like many people do at some point in their life. Although someone may doing something wrong in their life, they are not an evil person. Similar to Cal, we can all choose to display kindness, even after we act

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