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What is the summary for Chapter 7 of East of Eden?

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted January 8, 2009 at 2:45 AM via web

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What is the summary for Chapter 7 of East of Eden?

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jfwheeler | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 8, 2009 at 2:59 AM (Answer #1)

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Adam spends the next five years in the Army.  When he is discharged, Adam begins to head back home to Charles.  However, on his unhurried trek, he runs out of money and lives the life of a hobo, “jungling” up with other restless men.  He is picked up by the authorities and jailed.  Charles does not hear from his brother for three years.

Adam is released in the intervening time, but is picked up again by the police and put on a road gang.  Just three days before he is to be freed, Adam decides to escape. 

Charles receives a telegram informing him of Cyrus’ death.  The old man has left his sons a considerable fortune.  Shortly thereafter, he also receives a telegram from Adam asking for $100 and saying that he was coming home. 

As the two brothers talk about their lives, Charles renews his inquiry into why Cyrus did not love him.  He recalls that on one of Cyrus’ birthdays, their father shunned Charles’ gift of a knife but loved Adam’s present of a stray dog.  The slight stayed with Charles all of his life.  “Why didn’t he love me?” Charles wonders. Adam has no answers for his brother. 

The siblings try to decide what to do with the inheritance.  Charles is hesitant to claim the funds, though.  He thinks there is a good possibility that the money was ill-gotten; he knows Cyrus was a liar.  Adam, however, does not see any reason not to accept it. 

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