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What are the first 5 chapters about in the book "East of Eden"?

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michael3173 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 1, 2007 at 3:12 AM via web

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What are the first 5 chapters about in the book "East of Eden"?

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted February 1, 2007 at 6:04 AM (Answer #1)

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East of Eden begins with the narrator’s description of the Salinas Valley in California, where the story unfolds. The next chapter introduces the Hamilton family, beginning with the narrator’s grandfather Samuel Hamilton, who during the 1860s came to California from Ireland with his wife Liza.

The focus then switches to the Trask family, living on a farm in Connecticut. Cyrus Trask is a Civil War veteran who becomes a powerful man in the War Department in Washington, D.C. Trask has two sons, Adam and Charles. During their boyhood, Cyrus rejects a birthday present from Charles but accepts the present given by Adam. This angers Charles, and he beats Adam severely. Cyrus forces Adam to join the army.

The narrative then switches to the Hamilton family, which is thriving, even though Samuel never makes much money. Samuel’s four sons, George, Will, Tom, and Joe, are born.

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 9, 2007 at 9:09 AM (Answer #2)

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East of Eden is set in Salinas Valley in California, where the story is set. The characters are members of the Hamilton family; Samuel and Liza Hamilton, who immigrated to California from Ireland in the 1860s and have four sons, George, Will, Tom, and Joe.  other characters include the Trask family, who live on a farm in Connecticut. Cyrus Trask works in the War Department in Washington, D.C., his sons are Adam and Charles. There is a bad relationship between the two brothers, and Adam joins the Army.  Charles is lonely on the farm, but Adam reenlists in the Army.  By the time Adam returns home, his father has died.  At this time it is around 1890, and  Cathy Ames comes into the story. She is referred to as a “monster” because as a teenager she had murdered her parents and become a prostitute. She crawled to the Trask farm after being beaten by her pimp; she was taken in by Charles and Adam take her in, although Charles was is reluctant to do so. Before long Adam “falls in love” with Cathy and he marries her. It is not long before she betrays him by drugging his brother and sleeping with him.

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted July 9, 2007 at 9:10 AM (Answer #3)

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East of Eden is set in Salinas Valley in California, where the story is set. The characters are members of the Hamilton family; Samuel and Liza Hamilton, who immigrated to California from Ireland in the 1860s and have four sons, George, Will, Tom, and Joe.  other characters include the Trask family, who live on a farm in Connecticut. Cyrus Trask works in the War Department in Washington, D.C., his sons are Adam and Charles. There is a bad relationship between the two brothers, and Adam joins the Army.  Charles is lonely on the farm, but Adam reenlists in the Army.  By the time Adam returns home, his father has died.  At this time it is around 1890, and  Cathy Ames comes into the story. She is referred to as a “monster” because as a teenager she had murdered her parents and become a prostitute. She crawled to the Trask farm after being beaten by her pimp; she was taken in by Charles and Adam take her in, although Charles was is reluctant to do so. Before long Adam “falls in love” with Cathy and he marries her. It is not long before she betrays him by drugging his brother and sleeping with him.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 29, 2009 at 3:21 PM (Answer #4)

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It begins with the narrator's introduction of Salinas Valley in California, the setting of the story. Next, it introduces the Hamilton family and  Trask family. It would switch from Hamilton and Trask family back and forth repeatedly, giving new description and new discovery to each of them. Lastly, the narrator introduces Cathy Ames, the monster in the story, who had murdered her parents and became a prostitute.

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