Monday, August 04, 2014

East of Eden, Discussion #2!

Here's our latest East of Eden checkpoint discussion! Spoilers for the book so far (through chapter 27).

1. What do you think of the characters' growth and/or change in this section? Specifically, Adam, Cathy/Kate, and Lee have all had some big things happen. 

These characters are funny. On the front end of thinking about this question, I thought, "Hey! They're all pretty dynamic!" But the truth of the matter is that there's plenty happening to and around them, but they aren't actually changing much. They're fascinating, nonetheless.

2. Lee is quickly becoming an important and insightful character. What do you think of his insights and his language switching?

I think Lee is perhaps my favorite so far. He's clever and honest and he's absolutely right that the people around him are completely colored by their expectations. He's got a point with his code switching. I'm really looking forward to learning more about him as we go. In relation to the question below, I also see his building a narrative around himself as a tie to the importance of the Cain and Abel story, as well as the overall construction of narrative. I can't wait to explore this more in future questions. All of these characters are fully invested in stories...whether it's a story they create for themselves (Kathy!) or a story built by their parents, society, etc.  

3. The Cain and Abel story continues to take on more prominence. How so?

See above. I went off prematurely.

4. How do you perceive Samuel's role and the role of his family? 

I'm still not sure what to make of Samuel and his family. Of course he's a father figure to Adam. Maybe the only good one. His family and their importance remains to be seen. Because we've delved so deeply into the dynamics of he and his children, I know more is coming!

5. Cathy/Kate...expound. There will probably be one of these at every checkpoint because OMGthatwoman. 

Crazy bitch.


13 comments:

  1. Crazy bitch is right!!

    Lee was my favorite character of all. I loved his wisdom and humor.

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    1. Lee is seriously amazing. Cathy...just ugh. Handful.

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  2. OMG I'm so behind. I can't read this, but I TOTALLY AGREE about Cathy.

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  3. This is one of the few Steinbeck novels I sort of enjoy. Cathy is such a bitch that you can't help but enjoy her scenes. Lee too is pretty awesome. What he has to say about California and its biases is uncomfortably impressive. Enjoy the rest of the story!

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    1. She's a train wreck, isn't she? I haven't liked other Steinbeck novels much, but my scope is limited. If this is a fair representation, I'll read more.

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    2. Oh, honey. I hate Steinbeck. Can't stand him. For me to say that this is my favorite of his books is damning him with praise. But don't take my word for it. I am in a very small minority in regards to my Steinbeck loathing.

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    3. LOL! Fair enough. I wanted to throw Of Mice and Men under a garbage truck (literally), if it makes you feel less of the minority.

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    4. That makes me feel SO much better. I've read The Grapes of Wrath so many times, and it always makes me consider suicide as a viable option. I feel that way about most of his novels, actually.

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    5. So here's the big unavoidable question. Why have you read Grapes (et al) so many times if you hate it? Did you get stuck in an endless loop in college like I did? Swear to God, I had to read The Odyssey like six times.

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    6. The first time was in high school. I read it again after college because I couldn't remember it very well. And then I've read it at least one more time after that as an adult because I keep wondering what I am missing. This last time was with my book club in hopes they could help me see why some consider it the best American novel of all time.

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  4. So glad I found this discussion. I'm on chapter 27. Has anyone here yet said that Cathy/Kate is Lilith? I'm still puzzling over Lee.

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  5. Lee and Sam tie for my favorite characters so far, but I gave Liza Hamilton a shout-out in my Installment #2 discussion post! I've been enjoying the language of the book a lot, and not just the conversations between the characters (which are always my favorite parts of any book) but the narrator's knowing, but sympathetic, tone, too. I admit to skimming some of the descriptive passages because I don't visualize scenes or scenery too well. Then I catch myself and try to go back and read it better!

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