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Friday, November 12, 2010

East of Eden XXXII -- chpt31: ADAM to CATHY to LIZA to WILL; next Dessie and Tom; and there was the parrot, Polly, too

Chapter 31 is more of a passing chapter, than full of crucial plot points.  There's not a great deal here more than some helpful exposition, besides the mild conflict between Adam and Cathy.  Cathy's fear, however, is significant.  Think of wild animals and how they respond to the emotion.

Reading Questions
Chapter 31
  1. Lee says that Adam can be "dishonest in a lot of ways, but not in that way."  What does he mean?  When has Adam been dishonest?
  2. What does Cathy think Adam is trying to do when he comes with the letter to her ... er ... establishment?
  3. Why is Cathy afraid of Adam?  (an answer much like that of Cal's fear of Lee in the last chapter)
  4. "...her body shook with something that felt like rage and also felt like sorrow."  Again, Adam does the Cathy what Aron did to Cal.  Contrast the instances.


  1. 1. I think Adam deludes himself, such as his opinion about Cathy, but he never chooses expediency over morality. Even when he decides not to worry about the fact that his father embezzled the money, it's more to preserve the image that he and Charles have of their father, rather than just to try to keep the money.
    2. It seems like she thinks that he is trying to blackmail her or get her to turn herself in somehow. Cathy thinks there's always a trick behind something, and it usually serves her well, but it really sets her up for huge shocks in these types of situations.
    3. I think she's afraid of him because she doesn't understand him and therefore can't control him.
    4. Cal feels real remorse and really wants to be loved. Cathy does not feel remorse. She just feels weak and scared. She's not capable of the type of feelings that Cal is. Cal and Cathy's emotions are almost like the rectangle-square thing. Cal is able to feel all of Cathy's emotions, but Cathy is not able to feel all of Cal's emotions.

  2. I'm wondering.... If Cal has the highest opportunity for power in this particular circle of characters because of his largest range of emotional understanding, which, really, is because of his choice to step away from his Cathy-like side, might anyone gain power like Cal (I'm intending "power" in as benevolent a way as possible) by simply choosing the right path? Or are some people inherently more powerful and/or capable of greater emotional range than others? Big question. I don't have the answer.


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