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Thursday, November 11, 2010

East of Eden XXXI -- chpt30: SHOT THROUGH THE HEART

  1. Family drives into town to pick up mail and get meat for dinner.
  2. Adam gets a letter from a law firm back East.
  3. Letter announces death of Charles and further inheritance for Adam, to be split with his wife, if she is yet alive.
  4. Cal and Aron bet on an early bed time.
  5. Cal's feelings are significantly hurt--nearly mortally so.
  1. Aron wonder's why Cal kicks down anthills--not which anthills, but why.
  2. Cal's heart is pierced anew.
  3. Adam and Lee discuss letter and what to do about Cathy's rightful portion (rightful by which morality?).
  4. Lee stands up to Adam, who is surprised but not bothered.
  5. Lee practices perfectly timed and inflected sarcasm.
  1. Cal perfectly demonstrates what it really means to choose.  Timshel.
Chapter 30.1
  1. The last few chapters have illustrated Adam's tremendous changes.  If his past sins are more visible, remember these moments of triumph and glory, if not, perhaps, as significant as that of Lee's family history.  Here in part 1, what do we see as proof of his embracing the new life he's chosen and the family eagerly accepting?  (more than one)
  2. What does Aron manage to do, though there no way he intended it, that will have eternal significance--recorded by the angels of heaven--for his brother?
  3. Notice the rapidity of sway in Cal's emotions.  Cal fears, a little (and he recognizes it), Lee.  He believes he has power over his brother and potential power over his father.  What or who is Cal really scared of, and why?

Chapter 30.2
  1. What in the world could "the elders" accomplish that Lee hasn't already in this discussion of inheritance?  Why does Lee get so angry with Adam?  What is the truth in Adam that he refuses to admit of himself and why?
  2. What would be required for Cathy to expand into Lee's offering: "What your wife is doing is neither good nor bad.  Saints can spring from any soil.  Maybe with this money she would do some fine thing.  There's no springboard to philanthropy like a bad conscience"?

Chapter 30.3
  1. List all of the possible motivations for Cal's prayer to be like Aron.
  2. What is he really willing to sacrifice--or how far is he willing to go--to buy this miracle?
  3. What is his first step in the "right" direction?
Finally, if the rabbit symbolizes either of the boys, at this point has the significance of the member changed or reversed polarization, or gained an additional object?


  1. Funny you bring up the rabbit, because I was just thinking to myself that they may have reversed roles in this chapter with Aron's comment about being mean the arrow that kills the old Cal.

    30.1.2. What's amazing about what Aron does is he makes Cal realize that what he is doing is wrong, which it seems as though he's never really seen before. In the past, all he felt was the power of manipulating people, but now he sees how it makes other people feel. Cal's love for Aron ends up overcoming his love for controlling people. Cathy never has this love for anyone else, so her lust for power still reigns supreme.
    30.2.2. I'll be honest that I did not understand this quote at all. The idea that what she's doing isn't wrong just isn't plausible. I'm confused.

  2. So considering Cal's ability to love--and apparently it's a pretty consuming capacity--he should really be capable of near absolute power in the context of the story.

    Also, I enjoy watching each character's weaknesses and faults exposed, generally to their betterment, at the hands--witting or not--of others. Cathy exposed by Adam and Sam; Adam exposed by Same and Lee; Cal exposed by Aron.... But that leaves, if I'm catching everyone, a weakness to be exposed in Lee and in Aron. Do either of these two men have crippling weakness or shortsightedness? (And I'm sure I've made myself particularly clear. I'm in a bit of a hurry and not assembling my thoughts very thoroughly. Your thoughts?)


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