Study Guide

East of Eden Chapter 44

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 44


  • Aron goes off to college at Stanford, and Abra becomes a lot closer to the Trask family. She likes them way more than her own family.
  • But Aron hates Stanford, and constantly sends Abra homesick and lovesick letters.
  • Abra especially likes chatting it up with Lee, and confiding in him—especially about Aron.
  • Abra tells Lee about how Aron seems to have really needed a mother; she says that she hopes he doesn't become a minister, and then feels bad that she even said it.
  • But what really bothers her is that Aron doesn't seem to see Abra for who she really is. He has made her up to be someone absolutely pure, and Abra just doesn't feel that way.
  • Then Abra asks if Aron's mother is alive, and things get really awkward—Lee refuses to answer the question at first, but finally says that she is. 
  • Then Cal walks in and hands Lee a check. It's the money he borrowed, plus interest.
  • Cal informs Abra that he has made fifteen thousand dollars and he is going to give it to his father on Thanksgiving.


  • After school Abra walks home with Cal. She wants to know what's up with Aron and why he only thinks about himself. Aron thinking only about himself is old news for Cal.
  • Abra asks Cal if it's true that he walks around at night and goes to bad houses, and he says that yes, it is.
  • Abra admits that she's not so good either.