East of Eden


John Steinbeck

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East of Eden: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Charles and Adam bicker constantly, and Adam periodically leaves only to come crawling back after a few months. Adam wants to move with Charles to California, but Charles doesn’t understand why Adam would want to leave. One night in anger Charles mentions that Adam has never paid him back for the 100 dollars he sent him. Adam, upset with himself, can’t believe his oversight. He tells Charles that he needed the money because he was escaping from prison. Charles is delighted by this information, and feels closer to Adam than he has in a long time.
Charles is comforted by the fact that Adam has spent time in jail. The reader should note that this moment of closeness between the brothers is brought about by moral and social transgressions on Adam’s part: he fails to pay back a debt and is incarcerated for vagrancy. Perhaps Charles is comforted because he sees Adam is also imperfect, “bad” as well as “good.”
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