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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

East of Eden XLVIII -- chpt48: **sneeze**

As a reader  you can generally tell when events are winding up--when the author's pushing things slowly toward the cliff.  Though you can't see it, but it's there.  The sensation is a little like knowing a sneeze is on its way, though perhaps you don't know how strong it will turn out or if it will fizzle to nothing (so disappointing!).  If you look closely at the writing, you can even identify the specific symptoms in the narration indicating the coming sneeze--itchy sinuses, watery eyes, sudden and involuntary snuffling up from your gut....  Here in chapter 48, I think we can begin to point out that, yes, we are about to sneeze--or East of Eden is.  How do we know?

When else has Cathy made such consistent appearances?  When else has she been so rattled for more than a paragraph at a time?  When else has someone worked directly against her?  When else has she remained so consistently agitated?

Better yet--if a mighty climax you desire--Aron's home from college, Cal's under-appreciated, and Thanksgiving is coming when Adam plans, though indirectly and with typical oblivion, to shunt Cain--I mean Cal.

Storm's a'brewin'!

Reading Questions

  1. Why does Joe feel as though maybe somebody's come in to root through his stuff?  What's the devil over shoulder on about?
  2. Is Joe's instinct against Cathy is correct, is someone--a higher power--assisting him, or is he just bumbling and lucky (unless it all turns to pot!)?
  3. Is Cathy a "soup carrier?"
  4. What's in the capsule in her necklace?
  5. Why is she inquisitive after the goings-on of the funeral?

1 comment:

  1. 2. I don't know if there's a higher power assisting him as much as just that the quote, "What a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive," is fairly true. If you spend your whole life sowing evil, you'll reap some of it in most circumstances.
    3. No. There's really nothing she wants in return, so much as she likes to manipulate people as a good in-and-of-itself.
    5. It's kind of a Mecca for Salinas-area whores. She probably is primarily concerned about Ethel, but also if anyone has caught up with her plans.


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