Free Study Guide for East of Eden by John Steinbeck|
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
Cal left, Kate felt very nervous. She thought about Charles Trask and Samuel Hamilton,
both of whom had recognized the truth about her. As she felt the capsule of morphine
around her neck, Kate repeatedly said Calís last words to her, "You are afraid."
The words bothered her greatly.
Kate had collected the money Charles had left her, she began to feel pain. Her
hands grew worse each day.
One day Kate was visited by Ethel, a woman
who worked for her at the time she was working for Faye. Ethel looked as though
she were living on the edge of poverty. She explained that after Kate fired her,
she never recovered. Kate offered her forty dollars, but Ethel said she had hoped
for much more. She then proceeded to blackmail Kate. She told Kate that on the
night Faye died, she saw Kate go out back and bury something. The next morning
she went and dug up the crushed bottles and dropper, which she still had in her
possession. Ethel then demanded that Kate give her a hundred dollars a month.
Kate agreed to send her the money at the first of each month.
morning Ethel was in front of the judge, charged with theft. The judge told her
this was one too many times that she had been in trouble. He ordered the sheriff
to drive her out of the county. Knowing that Kate had her hand in this, Ethel
told the judge that she had been framed, but he did not believe her.
At first, Kate was not disturbed by Ethelís visit,
but she gradually became restless about it. She worried that Ethel might tell
her story to others and give the bottles to someone else. Kate also began to think
about Charles Trask and felt his presence with her. She began to wonder if she
was safe and grew afraid to go outside.
fear and anxiety, which stem from her thoughts about the past, increase to the
point that she seldom goes outside. The visits from Ethel and Cal only make things
worse for her. Even the morphine does not dull her fear and pain. It is appropriate
that the evil character in the book is degenerating as the good characters are
flourishing. Steinbeck is making a clear statement, through Adam, Aaron, and Cal,
that good does triumph over evil.
It is also ironic that Kate, the master
manipulator, is manipulated by Ethel. Kate, however, has the last word when she
uses her influence to have Ethel arrested and driven out of the county. It may
be her last hurrah.
This brief part announces that war was imminent. Prices went up. People
were nervous and excited.
Cal told Aaron
he should try to finish high school early so he could go away to college. Aaron
was at first unsure, but Cal convinced him that he would do all he could to pay
Aaronís way. Aaron was especially eager to go to college because he was ashamed
of their fatherís failure and hated being made fun of in the town. That night,
Cal asked his father if he could go out to the ranch and look around. Lee later
asked him what he was planning. When Aaron explain, Lee offered Cal five thousand
dollars if he needed it.
Cal went to see
Will Hamilton. Will liked Cal immediately for his honesty, astuteness, and directness.
Cal asked Willís advice about making money. He told Will he wanted to make twenty
or thirty thousand dollars, enough money to give his father what he had lost.
When Will asked him why he wanted to give the money to Adam, Cal answered that
he had not always been a good son, but his father had always been good. Will asked
Cal if he was trying to buy his fatherís love. Cal admitted that he was. Will
thought he had never met anyone quite so open and honest as Cal.
he thought of Cal as the son he had never had. He suggested he and Cal take a
ride together. They drove out to the Trask place and parked at the edge of the
land. He asked Cal if he wanted a partner. Cal said he did, but he admitted he
could only raise five thousand dollars to invest. Will explained he was interested
in the farming of beans and wanted to raise the price of beans from three cents
a pound to ten cents.
In this chapter, Cal
puts his plans into action. He convinces Aaron to finish high school early in
order to go away to college sooner. He promises Aaron he will help pay for his
education. Then, Cal talks to Will Hamilton and asks his advice about making money.
He is eager to make a large sum so that he can give Adam the amount that he has
lost on the lettuce. Will is so impressed with Calís good sense that he offers
to be his partner. As always, Will is the ultimate businessman. He sees a way
to make a profit off the scarcity of the wartime economy. Since beans are in demand,
he will buy them at a cheap price from the local farmers and sell them high.
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of Eden Free BookNotes Summary-John Steinbeck