Cal Trask

Cal Trask

    East of Eden
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… in the early 20th century in California with his father, who was a successful farmer, and his brother Aron, who was always doted upon more by their father. Growing up, Cal was led to believe that his mother had died, but he found out she is still alive and is operating a lucrative brothel in a nearby town.

Living… in the same central California home as he grew up. Times are tough for the family, as a farm investment ends up losing the family thousands of dollars.

Profession… an entrepreneur of sorts. Hoping to lift his family out of their troubles, he decides to start a bean farm, with the hopes that the looming World War I will create a need for the food. Not knowing where else to turn, Cal asks his mother for a loan of $5,000, which she begrudgingly gives.

Relationship Status… single. He has feelings for Abra, but she is off-limits since she is his brother’s girlfriend.

Challenge… helping his family out of their financial hardship without breaking it apart in the process. But Cal is undaunted. As he says, he is incredibly confident in his abilities to make money: "It's gonna work because it's got to work and it's got to work because I said so."

Personality… temperamental, resentful, and possibly a little bitter. This all stems from the belief that his father favors his brother, Aron, over him. It's clear that Cal has some serious daddy issues. Feeling deprived of the love his dad, Cal's ultimate motivation is to show his worth, and make him proud.


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