- Interesting the final sentence of this first, short section that claims the Salinas Valley, while a part of the Nation frightened by its "imperceptible" slide toward war, is either oblivious or willfully despondent. Sound like anyone you know?
- I think we get the direct parallel to the previous question in just the first three inches or so of text here, when Aron, in utterly willful black-and-white obtuseness, says, "But he lost it."
- In the conversation between the brothers, there's an amplified sense of Aron's personality. What's going on in the moment of these lines that emphasizes his character: "I'll help you though college." "You will?" "Sure I will." "Why, I'll go and see the principal right away." Compare this quickness to that of his judgment on his father.
- Justify Abra: "I try to talk him out of [his attitude about the lettuce]. Maybe he's enjoying it." Enjoying it? Really?
- Is Lee missing something, or is he content? (Having finished the chapter, this smacks a bit of Deus Ex Machina; can you show that it's not?)
- The first paragraph of this section reminds me, perhaps strangely, of Life of Pi. Will, an animal so unlike that of his perhaps-wilder siblings, enjoys his cage in his little self-crafted zoo. Why is it (if you thoroughly remember Life of Pi) that he's so content in his "square glass cage," especially (and back to EoE from LoP) in view of the next paragraph contrasting Will to Joe?
- If Will sees and respects Cal, he sees something of himself in the boy. What does he see? Are they so similar? (This is a much bigger question--especially in view of the next--than it seems.)
- Why does Will's "fleshy face" contort with memory when Cal admits his fondness for his father?
- Where is God in this chapter? Consider the source story. Is it Adam? Big, doltish, even simpleton Adam? Wouldn't that be even a sort of blasphemy? Cal is winding up to offer his sacrifice. What is Aron's gift?