He studied Aron, saw his quivering lips, but he noticed in time the flaring nostrils. Aron would cry, but sometimes, pushed to tears, Aron would fight too. And when Aron cried and fought at the same time he was dangerous. Nothing could hurt him and nothing could stop him. 

In Chapter 27, Section 1, Cal reveals to Aron that their mother may not actually be dead like Adam and Lee once led them to believe. This information greatly upsets Aron, who refuses to accept the possibility that his father may have lied to them, and almost drives him to fight his brother. Despite Aron’s reputation as pure and angelic, this quotation emphasizes that he is not immune to the influence of strong emotions. His apparent goodness can become dangerous when his worldview is threatened.

Change of direction confused Aron, but that was the only thing that confused him. He set his path and followed it and he did not see nor was he interested in anything beside his path. 

This quotation appears in Chapter 36, Section 1 as Cal and Aron move to their new school in Salinas. While Aron initially struggles with school bullies, his willingness to fight to defend himself deters the other children from bothering him. Cal attributes this phenomenon to Aron’s singular, unchangeable mindset, one which ultimately contributes to his misery and eventual downfall. Aron’s persistence becomes his greatest weakness as it prevents him from being able to accept the realities of his complex and morally ambiguous world.

He remembered that Abra had once suggested that they go to live on the ranch, and that became his dream…He could see Abra there, standing under a tree, waiting for him to come in from his work. And it was evening. There, after work of course, he could live in purity and peace with the world, cut off by the little draw. He could hide from ugliness—in the evening.

This quotation appears in Chapter 47, Section 3 and works to highlight the similarities between Aron and his father. Increasingly unsatisfied with his college experience, Aron yearns to return home and imagines himself living an idyllic life with Abra on the Trask ranch. He aspires to transform his visions into reality, a move which would allow him to “hide from [the] ugliness” of the world around him. Adam followed a similar path when he married Cathy without recognizing her inner darkness, and this parallel emphasizes their struggle to come to terms with the undeniable presence of evil in the world.