Study Guide

East of Eden Chapter 26

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 26


  • On the train ride back to King City, Adam feels young and free.
  • In town he stops by Will Hamilton's garage. Looks like he wants to buy one of those new-fangled Model-T automobiles. And because Adam was such a good friend to the family (and because he is going to pay in cash), Will puts him at the top of the waiting list.
  • Adam starts to notice things again, and he chants out loud that he is free of Kate; he is eager to get home to see his sons.


  • Lee comes out to greet him and seems to notice a change. Adam goes inside and cleans the smell of rum off of him before going to talk to Lee.
  • He tells Lee about last night's escapades and his newfound freedom.
  • He also notices for the first time that Lee is no longer young. Lee asks him if, since he's back to being alive and all, Adam will let him leave.Ā 
  • He still wants to open up a bookstore in San Francisco.
  • Adam assents, but first wants to get acquainted with his sons and his property, and he needs Lee's help for that.
  • Sure, says Lee. But he asks permission to go to Salinas the following day to scatter papers and put a roast pig on the grave of his father, as is Chinese custom. At this Adam gets up quickly and knocks over his cup.