Study Guide

East of Eden Chapter 29

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 29


  • Adam is super impatient waiting for an answer from Charles.
  • To make matters worse, he is trying to catch up on his fathering too, and messing things up majorly. He keeps asking the boys questions about what they learned at school and trying to teach them how to do things like make willow whistles (which Lee already taught them to do three years before).
  • But then the new car arrives. Will Hamilton drives it up personally and tries to explain how it works, but none of them can retain anything, so he says he'll send a mechanic to explain the witchcraft that is automobiles.


  • When the mechanic comes, he's kind of a jerk; he's mad that Adam didn't study the user manual that was obviously under the seat. Ugh.
  • So now it's time to learn how to build an engine from scratch. By the way, the mechanic keeps insisting that they call him Joe. And that he went to automobile school.
  • The mechanic has Adam, Lee, and the boys repeat out loud all of the steps to starting the car… so many times, that by the end of this chapter, you too will be able to operate your very own Model-T.
  • Also, the mechanic's name is actually Roy. Ba-dum.

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