- I've noticed a version of Adam's sternness for "excuse and borderline disability" in myself and my teaching. Though he is weak, though he hates the war and feels he's condemning the boys he sends off, why won't he accept the excuse (which is the same reason he wouldn't be able to hold back his boys)?
- There's an interesting question here, which could be answered pertly, tritely, but whose answer could be much more revelatory: If God puts together two boys in a family--Cain and Abel, Charles and Adam, Cal and Aron--and one of them kills the other, even if perhaps there was reasonable doubt that they'd live well together and build each other up, is God responsible?
- "All great and precious things are lonely." (I don't think I agree--or I do agree, but with exceptions.)
- Twice now, unless I'm missing one, Cain has remained in "Eden" and Abel has left the garden for the weedy world beyond--war and college. What is Steinbeck saying by this, as it is not the only reversal from the Bible story?
- Could Aron live on and work the farm? It isn't a question regarding Cal. Yes, he could. But here we see the greatest similarity between Aron and Adam. What is it? (And if Aron has such distinct similarities to both his parents, what is there about Cal that is at similar to his father, if it is Adam at all, as we see clearly what his similarities are to Cathy?)