East of Eden Chapter 32
by John Steinbeck

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Chapter 32

Dessie Hamilton is largely the focus of this chapter. Her sisters were all loved, but Dessie was the “warm-beloved.” Her warmth radiates beyond the boundaries of her own family. Everyone loves Dessie. The women who frequent her dress shop come as much for her camaraderie as for Dessie’s fashionable designs. But after the unhappy conclusion of her affair, Dessie changes. She keeps right on working, but the laughter and good-feeling that once permeated her shop no longer exists Soon, her customers find reasons to stay away. Samuel’s death finalizes Dessie’s decision to sell the business and move to the ranch with Tom. Will remains opposed but Dessie is resolute. Tom is thrilled. When Dessie arrives at the train station, the two are so happy to see one another that they make quite a spectacle of themselves, whooping and hollering. On the ride back to the ranch, brother and sister reminisce about their lives growing up. Dessie fondly notes that there never was another family that had as much fun. Tom agrees but is still concerned about the unprofitable land. Dessie assures him that together they can get by.