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East of Eden
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Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
There are several secondary echoes of the Cain and Abel story apart from the obvious parallels with Charles and Adam, Cal and Aron. What are some of these echoes, and what is their role in the novel?

Sarah (songgirl7) | 284 comments Mod
So other than the obvious C and A names, and the struggle between good and evil, and the ability to freely choose between good and evil, what are the other parallels?

The first and most obvious parallel is the title of the novel, East of Eden, which is from Genesis 4:16. "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden."

Cain was a farmer, Abel was a shepherd. Charles was a farmer, Cal invests in beans. Aron wants to become a priest, which is considered a shepherd of a flock (or congregation).

God rejects Cain's sacrifice of crops and favors Abel's lamb. Cyrus prefers the puppy to the knife, even though the puppy was a last minute gift and the knife was hard earned. Adam also rejects Cal's money, wanting him to be more like Aron.

Cain kills Abel, Charles beats Adam, Cal tells Aron about their mother causing him to enlist in the Army where he is killed.

"The Mark of Cain" is generally thought to be a mark on the forehead, similar to the scar Charles receives.

Cain is the only one with offspring, since Abel was killed before he could reproduce. Aron is also killed before he can reproduce and Cal ends up with Abra.

When Adam comes looking for Aron, Cal says "Am I supposed to look after him?" Cain says to Adam, "Am I my brother's keeper?"

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