East of Eden Chapter 20
by John Steinbeck

Start Your Free Trial

Download East of Eden Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Chapter 20

Kate shocks Faye by announcing that she is going to be “working” that night. Every day that passes makes Faye think of Kate more and more as a daughter. When Faye objects, Kate knows just what to do to seal the deal. “I have to, Mother,” she says. The next day, Kate tells the other girls in the house that Faye is ill. Although the girls at first remark that they hadn’t noticed anything, soon Kate convinces them that they had noticed her not looking well. Kate is beginning to manipulate her housemates just as she has manipulated Faye. Up in her room, Faye has been busy creating a party for her “daughter.” Kate pretends surprise. She has a present ready to give to her mother, the gold watch Adam had given her. It is inscribed, “To C. with all my heart love A.” Kate claims her own mother gave it to her. Faye’s gift to Kate is considerably more substantial. She hands Kate a copy of her will and has bequeathed to her “all her worldly goods without exception.” Faye tells Kate she has about $60,000. Kate probes and finds out Faye has no living kin. Kate makes a mistake in her manipulation of Faye. Faye insists that she drink. Kate tells Faye of all the sadistic things she does to the men who come to the house. Faye becomes frightened and orders her to leave. Kate refuses. She forces a strong sedative on Faye.