Free Study Guide for East of Eden by John Steinbeck|
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During the First World War, Olive distinguished herself by selling liberty bonds. When she sold more than anyone in her region, the government sent a plane to take her for a ride as a token of appreciation. Although she was horrified at the thought of flying, she agreed to board the plane because her children were so excited for her. In preparation for the flight, she made out her will and arranged her life as if she were certainly going to die. During he flight, the pilot asked her if she wanted him to perform a stunt. She thought he was saying that he was stuck and she nodded her encouragement to him. He performed the stunt and kept asking her if she would like to see another. She kept nodding her encouragement. He thought she was brave and would make a great pilot herself. She had to be helped off the plane and stayed in bed for two days.
This brief chapter introduces the narrator’s own generation. His childhood memories take on a mythic quality with his mother representing the old fashioned values of grit and determination, a strict moral code, a determination to stay out of debt, and a feet-on-the-ground practicality. The story of her flight is told as if it were a family story often repeated over the years, making the story seem like a memoir more than fiction.
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. 09 May 2017