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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

East of Eden XXXVI -- chpt36: LIARS

I believe there is a great interest in children to both expose lies and try them out for themselves.  Cal is a master, and uses his lies to greatest possible advantage.  Abra is a liar, but a casual liar, and not dependent upon them.  Adam is a liar, but only delivering those designed to protect, despite the high risk of backfire.  Lee is a liar, inasmuch as he is required to protect his employer.  Aron is not a liar.

Few questions:

  1. Why does Aron cry, his head in Abra's lap?
  2. Is it possible to say why Abra loves Aron?  My thinking is this: Aron recognizes that Abra is different from all the other girls, and indeed so she seems, and more so than just his wish that she be different.  If she is indeed different, might she love Aron for reason different than the rest of everyone else who loves him?
  3. Aron has a superpower, demonstrated in pt3.  What is it, and how does he wield it?  


  1. 1. I think Aron wants Abra to be the mother he never had.
    2. On the flip side, Abra also wants to be like a mother to Aron, so the relationship seems to work "well" for both sides.
    3. He has pretty amazing powers of reason. I'm not sure a lot of adults could work their way through this, and he is doing it as a kid. Yet it is not true reason in the sense of trying to get down to some foundational truth. Instead he finds a way to justify his vision of the world. It almost reminds me of the, "better story," in "Life of Pi." The problem is that, unlike religion, which we won't know of for sure until after death, this "better story," like the gods earlier, is about to come crashing down, and you can tell how much it's going to devastate him if he's already using this convoluted sort of logic in order to avoid facing it.

  2. 1. I think it's more than just a desire to have Abra as a mother. He recognizes there is a lack in his life, and while he recognizes that not having a mother doesn't "feel like anything," it should feel like something. And, logically, he seems to recognize that it should hurt. How this translates exactly to this emotional manifestation could be frustration or confusion. Thoughts?

    3. Brilliant connection. I hadn't thought of it that way, and I think it's spot on. The problem is that, unlike "Life of Pi," it won't be much longer before poor Aron won't be able to "logic" his way into the better story, as the pillars of his gods come crashing down.

  3. Yeah, I totally agree with your first response. I realized I hadn't made this connection clear after I submitted my post, but I was too tired to fix it.


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