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Sunday, December 5, 2010

East of Eden LII -- chpt52: DISILLUSIONED, an active state of being

The fantasies of childhood are gone for Abra.  They've been gone--they may have never existed--for Cal.  Adam is broken.  Lee fusses about like a chicken.  Aron is off to war.  Amazing how this boy, so like his mother in fundamentals, is so like his father in practice; but how might the war benefit Aron where it never did for Adam?

What needs to happen before it could even be possible for Abra to love Aron again?


  1. Will it benefit Aron? The thing about war is that it seems to reinforce the kind of moral dichotomy with which Aron has a problem in the first place. "We're the good guys with a righteous cause. All of them are evil." I think it would take someone more complex to see through the farce of the concept.

    Aron needs to start appreciating her and his family for who they are, not who he wants them to be. But I'm not sure this is ever likely to happen.

    By the way, I know that we're supposed to sympathize with Cal here, but don't you feel a little bit bad for Aron, too? Steinbeck has him go through the horrible ordeal with his mother, enlist in the army in depression, and now Abra seems to be at least somewhat in love with his brother. What's coming next is almost a mercy killing for the poor guy.

  2. But his love for her was never more than like her love for his. Maybe this is the opportunity he needs to see some complexity. And if nothing he's got so far will give him that necessary perspective, what will it take?

    I do feel bad for Aron, but he's kind of bringing this all on himself. His blindness is voluntary.


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