It should be obvious already--simply by their mutual presence in the story--that the Hamiltons and the Trasks are going to cross paths. Also, it should be clear that the Trask end will be largely dominated by Adam's story. This alone should be evidence for hope, at least for Adam.
- Putting together the whole of part 1, what is it's ultimate purpose in the chapter (you may need to finish reading the chapter before answering this)? Can you pinpoint what Steinbeck means by "a glory?" It seems to be insinuating imagination and creativity, and that of the individual over the group. Put this in context of the two sides of change I talked about in the podcast. What do you think?
- Read the first sentence of part 2. READ IT AGAIN! Holy crap! How in the world is it possible that, at least for now, Adam is experiencing one of those GLORIES mentioned by the author in part 1? How is it that she is not inhibiting this?
- "And who in his mind has not probed the black water? // Maybe we all have in us a secret pond where evil and ugly things germinate and grow strong. But this culture is fenced, and the swimming brood climbs up only to fall back. Might it not be that in the dark pools of some men the evil grows strong enough to wriggle over the fence and swim free? Would not such a man be our monster ,and we not related to him in our hidden water? It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them" (emphasis added).
- I've never thought of Adam this way: Consider that he does not see Cathy for what she really is, because he is blinded, so to speak, by his own glory. "The glory lights up the world and changes it the way a star shell changes a battleground." Clearly, the star shell is Adam; the battleground is Cathy and is Adam's past. Both are made either beautiful, or blankly white (over-exposure--the shutter left open) by the light of the glorious shell. And I hate to use another Harry Potter analogy, but I can't really help it--it's fits perfectly. Remember the Veela? Fleur, via the magic of her spectacular beauty, seems to erase the very scars from her fiance's face, seems to make everything else more beautiful that comes near her on the day of her wedding? And do our own eyes not do the very same when we are blissfully joyful?
- Remember: Cathy and Adam's-Cathy are two different people, if not in practice, so in his mind.
- And poor Charles. Who is this man, mourning the loss of the brother he hates, and whom he loves? And whom can any of us hate more than those we love the most?
- (Another rhetorical question--not one intended for no answer, but one intended to really make you think: tell me what you think:) Who hates a killer or, at least a destroyer, more than a sincere doctor, and why?
- "There's people that when they see Samuel Hamilton the first time might get the idea he's full of bull. He don't talk like other people. He's an Irishman. And he's all full of plans--a hundred plans a day. And he's all full of hope. ...he'd have to be to live on this land! But you remember this--he's a fine worker, a good blacksmith, and some of his plans work out. And I've heard him talk about things that were going to happen and they did" (emphasis added). Adam's going to see a prophet?
- I sense a parable her in Samuel's words. What are its parallels? "I said it was a strange valley. ... I've dug into it plenty. Something went on under it--maybe still is going on. There's an ocean bed underneath, and below that another world. But that needn't bother a farming man. Now, on top is good soil, particularly on the flats. In the upper valley it is light and sandy, but mixed in with that, the top sweetness of the hills that washed down on it in the winters. As you go north the valley widens out, and the soil gets blacker and heavier and perhaps richer. It's my belief that marshes were there once...," (didn't we just read about marshes? I quoted something above on the matter), "...and the roots of centuries rotted into the soil and made it black and fertilized it. And when you turn it up, a little greasy clay mixes and holds it together. That's from about Gonzales north to the river mouth. Off to the sides, around Salinas and Blanco and Castroville and Moss Landing, the marshes are still there. and when one day those marshes are drained off, that will be the richest of all land in this red world."
- Louis Lippo: "He's always thinking about how to change things. He's never satisfied with the way they are."
- Often, Samuel seems like the great patriarch of the Israelites. Any Old Testament scholars out there want to look into this?
- Was there something about Samuel's talk that drove Adam to make the purchase? It almost seems spontaneous, despite his meticulous study.