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Adam took the train back to King City. Although he was feeling dazed, he also felt ecstatic and freed. He went to see Will Hamilton and talked about buying a car. Will had become so engrossed in making money that he had lost his feelings, only pretending to mourn his father’s death. After arranging to buy a car, Adam went home and noticed the land for the first time in years. He asked Lee to make tea and talk to him. He explained how he had seen Kate and felt freed from her hold over him. He also said he now wanted to do something with his land and to get to know his sons. Lee told him he planned to leave his employ so he could fulfill his dream of opening a bookstore in San Francisco. Adam asked him to please wait a while, and Lee agreed.
It is clear that Adam is a changed man, freed from Cathy’s hold over him. When he returns home, he notices his land for the first time in years and wants to do something productive with it. He also announces his plan to get to know his sons, asking Lee’s help. Lee agrees to help Adam for awhile, but he tells him that his eventual plan is to move to San Francisco and open a bookstore. In presenting Lee, Steinbeck does not rely on oriental stereotypes, as most of his contemporary European American writers did. Instead, Steinbeck endows Lee feelings, hopes, history, and wisdom.