* [[MagnificentBastard Magnificent Bitch]]: Cathy.
** In the novel the two 14-year-olds who try to have sex with Cathy, age 10, defend themselves by saying Cathy initiated things and charged them money. They are telling the truth, but regardless of this many modern readers will still see the boys' behavior with Cathy as child rape, no matter how manipulative and willing she was.
** Modern readers may feel the same way about her 28 year old Latin teacher's attempt to seduce her when she was 14.
** The narrator describes the the Native Americans who first inhabited Salinas Valley as a "an inferior breed without energy, inventiveness, or culture" who were too lazy to work the land and thus deserved to lose it. Later, when describing Adam's participation in the Indian Wars, the narrator claims that their extermination was sad but unavoidable.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: The epic religious symbolism is the entire point of the book.