East of Eden Chapter 22
by John Steinbeck

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Chapter 22

Three months have passed. Adam has sunk into a deep depression. Lee becomes both father and mother to the twins. Lee goes into town for supplies and meets Sam Hamilton in the store. Sam is shocked to learn that the twins have never been given names. He immediately decides to go set Adam straight, but first he has to tell Liza. Liza is none to keen on Samuel going to the Trask farm as he always returns depressed. However, when she hears of the reason, she too is incensed and allows her husband to go. Adam is not welcoming to Samuel. He refuses to see how he has neglected the boys. Samuel, a completely non-violent man, is forced to punch him in the face to snap him out of it. It works. As the three men share the dinner Lee has cooked, Adam finally tells Samuel how Cathy shot him. He describes her complete lack of passion or hatred for him. What hurts him most, he confesses, is that she saw him as merely an “annoyance.” Adam asks whether Samuel has news of Cathy, claiming that he wants to know more about her in order to know “what kind of blood” is in his boys. Samuel renounces the “biology is destiny” argument. Samuel brings out his Bible in order to find names for the boys. The men discuss the history of the stories of Cain and Abel and of original sin. Eventually, Adam decides on the names Caleb and Aron.