1) What literary character does Cathy/Kate identify with?
A) Juliet from Romeo and Juliet
B) Alice from Alice in Wonderland
C) Dr. Jekyll from The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
D) Ishmael from Moby Dick
2) Who was the owner of the Sanchez Place before it was purchased by Adam Trask?
A) Louis Lippo
B) Rabbit Holman
D) Samuel Hamilton
3) How many children do Samuel and Liza Hamilton have?
A) 9: 5 girls and 4 boys
B) 9: 4 girls and 5 boys
C) 8: 4 girls and 4 boys
D) 8: 3 girls and 5 boys
4) What did Alice Trask die from?
5) Why does Cyrus insist that Adam join the military but not Charles?
A) Adam is weak and the military will make him a strong man whereas Charles has no fear so there is not much Charles can gain from the military.
B) Adam is stronger and more athletic than Charles and will make a great solider but Charles would not be able to survive in the military.
C) Cyrus is afraid that Charles will be an excellent solider and earn a higher rank than he ever did in the military.
D) Cyrus wants to make Charles jealous of Adam *Correct answer is A.
6) Why does Charles try to kill his brother Adam?
A) Adam took the knife Charles planned to give Cyrus for his birthday.
B) Charles believes Adam is turning Cyrus against him.
C) Charles finds out that Adam is leaving Alice small presents around the house.
D) Adam beat Charles in a game of marbles
7) Who suspects that Cathy/Kate is an unusual child capable of sinister actions but says nothing of his/her suspicions?
A) James Grew
B) Mr. Ames
C) Mrs. Ames
D) Oscar Noble
8) Where did Cathy get money to run away from home after she set fire to her house?
A) From Mr. Edwards
B) From James Grew
C) From her father’s tannery business
D) From her mother’s purse
9) Why was Samuel Hamilton never able to become a wealthy man?
A) He donated most of his profits to charity.
B) He lived on land that was infertile and suffered from “patent fever”.
C) His wife thought wealth was a sin.
D) He spent most of his earnings sending Olive to secondary school and Joseph to college.
10) How many years does Adam Trask serve in the military?
11) Why does Lee insist on speaking pidgin?
A) Most people expect him to sound that way.
B) He still struggles with speaking English.
C) He has forgotten how to communicate any other way.
D) He speaks it as a protest to the Emperor of China.
12) Where does Cyrus Trask eventually relocate to after Alice’s death?
B) San Francisco
D) Washington D.C.
13) Why does Cathy/Kate shoot Adam?
A) Adam tried to hit Cathy.
B) Adam was drunk.
C) Adam tried to stop Cathy from leaving.
D) It was unintentional as the gun accidently went off.
14) After Cathy leaves Adam, why does Liza object to Samuel visiting the Trask Place?
A) She believes every interaction with Adam changes Samuel for the worse.
B) Adam and Samuel always argue when they see each other.
C) Samuel spends too much time away from the family.
D) Adam convinces Samuel to do work around the property without paying him for it.
15) What is the name of the land Adam purchases in the Salinas Valley?
A) King City Estates
B) The Bordoni Ranch
C) The Hamilton Farm
D) The Sanchez Place
16) What name does Cathy Ames use after leaving Adam?
A) Kate Grew
B) Kate Trask
C) Kate Ames
D) Kate Albey
17) Why does Faye leave all her assets to Cathy/Kate in her will?
A) She views Kate as a daughter.
B) Kate is blackmailing Faye.
C) Faye knows about the twins and wants Kate to eventually raise her sons.
D) Kate forged the will.
18) Why doesn’t Adam want to use names of relatives to name the twins?
A) He wants his boys to have a “fresh start”.
B) He hates all of his relatives.
C) He does not like the names of any of his relatives.
D) He wants to be creative in naming the twins.
19) Who comes to the Trask Place to question Adam about his gunshot wound?
A) The town sheriff
B) Oscar Noble
C) Samuel Hamilton
D) Horace Quinn and Julius Euskadi
20) How does Liza encourage Samuel in his quest to name the twins?
A) She tells Samuel to name them after their own children.
B) She loans Samuel her mother’s bible.
C) She offers to go with Samuel to help name the twins.
D) She advises Samuel to hit Adam to knock some sense into him.
21) What event prompts Samuel to age rapidly?
A) Tom’s suicide.
B) Dessie’s death.
C) Una’s death.
D) Liza’s newfound taste for alcohol.
22) How do Samuel’s children decide to deal with Samuel’s rapid aging?
A) They all agree to take turns inviting their parents to stay with them, starting with Olive.
B) They agree to hire help to take care of Samuel’s property.
C) They want to talk Samuel into selling the property and moving to Salinas.
D) They decide to ignore it and leave Samuel alone.
23) What does Samuel reveal to Adam before leaving for Salinas?
A) He regrets never becoming wealthy.
B) Cathy is working at a whorehouse in Salinas.
C) He is disappointed that his son Tom never realized his potential.
D) He wishes he could move back to Ireland.
24) Why does Aaron spell his name as Aron?
A) His friends think two As seem fancy.
B) He doesn’t like his name.
C) He could never spell it correctly.
D) He doesn’t realize his name has two a’s.
25) What word sheds light on the ongoing discussion Lee and Samuel have over the meaning of the sixteen verses of the fourth chapter of Genesis in the Bible?
26) What does Adam decide to do after Samuel’s funeral in Salinas?
A) Visit Liza at Olive’s house.
B) Get some business advice from Will.
C) Look for a place to eat dinner.
D) Find Cathy/Kate.
27) When Adam finally sees Kate face to face, what does she tell him in order to hurt him?
A) She is now living her dream to finally run something by herself.
B) She was already married to someone else when she married Adam.
C) She thought Adam was a horrible husband.
D) She slept with Charles and the boys are probably not Adam’s biological sons.
28) How do the twins first meet Abra?
A) At school.
B) At Samuel Hamilton’s funeral.
C) Her parents stop at the Trask Place during a rainstorm.
D) During a quick outing to the post office in King City.
29) What makes Adam visit Cathy/Kate a second time?
A) He wants to tell her how much he despises her now.
B) His brother Charles left her $50,000 in his will.
C) He wants to plead with her to come home and see her boys.
D) He wants an official divorce.
30) What drives Tom to commit suicide?
A) He is disappointed that he never aspired to any of his dreams.
B) He feels solely responsible for Dessie’s death.
C) He misses his father and doesn’t want to live anymore.
D) He finds out he has a terminal illness.
31) Why does Lee decide to move to San Francisco?
A) He says it is his dream to run a bookstore.
B) He is tired of raising Cal and Aron.
C) He still has relatives living there and wants to be near them.
D) He needs a change of scenery.
32) How does Adam end up losing money?
A) He invests in beans and the price falls rapidly.
B) The price of living in Salinas is much higher than King City.
C) He invests in an ice packing plant to ship produce across country but his plan fails.
D) He tries to buy out one of Will Hamilton’s businesses.
33) How does Aron handle Adam’s business failure?
A) He tries to find a way to make money.
B) He is unfazed by Adam’s misfortune.
C) He is ashamed and distances himself from Adam.
D) He asks Adam if he can transfer to a school in another town.
34) Why does Abra ultimately fall out of love with Aron?
A) She discovers Aron is dating another woman at Stanford.
B) She realizes she will never live up to Aron’s expectations of her.
C) She cannot support his decision to join the military.
D) She falls in love with Cal.
35) What plan does Cal concoct to win his father’s respect?
A) He invests in beans with Will Hamilton and sells them for a profit.
B) He graduates from high school a year early to attend college.
C) He joins the military.
D) He becomes a car salesman.
36) What prompts Cal to show Aron Kate’s Place and let him discover the truth about their mother?
A) He believes Kate would benefit from knowing Aron.
B) It is how Cal reacts to Adam’s disappointment over Cal’s business investment.
C) Abra dared him to do it.
D) He wanted to talk to Kate again but did not want to go alone.
37) How does Aron react to the discovery that his mother is alive and running a whorehouse?
A) He is happy to discover his mother is alive and wants to help her change her life.
B) He is indifferent to the discovery that his mother is alive.
C) He refuses to believe Kate is his mom and he immediately returns to Stanford.
D) He runs away from Kate’s Place disgusted, drops out of college and joins the military.
38) What does Cal ultimately do with the $15,000 he earned from his investment in beans?
A) He uses it to help fund Aron’s education.
B) He burns the money.
C) He puts the money in a bag and throws it into a dumpster near Kate’s Place.
D) He stashes the money away in his room.
39) When do Cal and Abra plan to picnic together?
A) On the last day of their school semester.
C) When the azaleas begin to bloom.
D) On Independence Day.
40) What is Adam’s last word/phrase that he utters to Cal on his deathbed?
B) I’m sorry.
C) Thou mayest.
Use these essay questions for writing prompts, journal assignments, assessments, or discussion starters.
Short answer questions test student understanding and reading comprehension for East of Eden.