East of Eden
John Steinback
Contributed by Katlyn Weinert
Chapter 41

Part 1

This brief part announces that war was imminent. Prices went up. People were nervous and excited.

Part 2

Cal told Aaron he should try to finish high school early so he could go away to college. Aaron was at first unsure, but Cal convinced him that he would do all he could to pay Aaron’s way. Aaron was especially eager to go to college because he was ashamed of their father’s failure and hated being made fun of in the town. That night, Cal asked his father if he could go out to the ranch and look around. Lee later asked him what he was planning. When Aaron explain, Lee offered Cal five thousand dollars if he needed it.

Part 3

Cal went to see Will Hamilton. Will liked Cal immediately for his honesty, astuteness, and directness. Cal asked Will’s advice about making money. He told Will he wanted to make twenty or thirty thousand dollars, enough money to give his father what he had lost. When Will asked him why he wanted to give the money to Adam, Cal answered that he had not always been a good son, but his father had always been good. Will asked Cal if he was trying to buy his father’s love. Cal admitted that he was. Will thought he had never met anyone quite so open and honest as Cal.

Suddenly he thought of Cal as the son he had never had. He suggested he and Cal take a ride together. They drove out to the Trask place and parked at the edge of the land. He asked Cal if he wanted a partner. Cal said he did, but he admitted he could only raise five thousand dollars to invest. Will explained he was interested in the farming of beans and wanted to raise the price of beans from three cents a pound to ten cents.


In this chapter, Cal puts his plans into action. He convinces Aaron to finish high school early in order to go away to college sooner. He promises Aaron he will help pay for his education. Then, Cal talks to Will Hamilton and asks his advice about making money. He is eager to make a large sum so that he can give Adam the amount that he has lost on the lettuce. Will is so impressed with Cal’s good sense that he offers to be his partner. As always, Will is the ultimate businessman. He sees a way to make a profit off the scarcity of the wartime economy. Since beans are in demand, he will buy them at a cheap price from the local farmers and sell them high.

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