Discussion of Part III of East of Eden begins today at the Classic Reads Book Club.
I don’t feel as if I was as invested in Part III as I was with the first two portions of East of Eden. It seemed like the story started to just plod along without holding my interest as much. Part of it is Steinbeck’s writing style. It can be so descriptive at times, especially regarding nature and the elements. That’s really not my thing. Plus Part III was just over 100 pages, so it didn’t seem as if there was as much time to develop the story as in the previous parts.
That being said I was still captivated by East of Eden and I am excited to read the last part to see how it all turns out. In Part III the reader is able to see the twins begin to grow up and evolve into their own characters. I found it interesting that Aron is very similar to Adam, whereas Caleb seems to embody his mother’s characteristics. The difference between Caleb and Cathy/Kate is that Caleb, even though he is only eleven, understands that his way of thinking is skewed and he’s trying desperately to fix it, whereas when Adam visits Cathy after learning of Charles’ death, she still is unable to break free of her evil mindset.
I also enjoyed reading more about Samuel and his family. Tom especially seems like such a deeply involved character, even more so after what happened at the end of Part III. It remains unclear to me what role the rest of the Hamilton family will play in the end of the novel.
I look forward to finishing East of Eden. The characters seem to be making great strides towards self-discovery (with the exception of Cathy). It is nice to see that Adam has finally come to his senses and seems to realistically perceive his previous relationship with Cathy and what kind of person she is compared to who he wanted her to be.
I hope everyone else is enjoying East of Eden as much as I am. It definitely qualifies as a chunkster, but it is more than worth the patience t sometimes takes to make it through a longer book.