The Rich Brother by Tobias Wolff Essay

The Rich Brother by Tobias Wolff Essay

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The Rich Brother by Tobias Wolff
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Tobias Wolff's short story, "The Rich Brother", is a parallel story to the biblical fable of Able and Cain. The biblical story of Able and Cain is that of the first story that puts man against man. Cain and Able are children of Adam and Eve, where Cain is the eldest and Able the younger of the two. In the biblical story Cain and Able end up giving gifts (sacrifices) to appease to their God. This in turn, creates tension between the two because Able's sacrifice of the lamb is much favored by God than is Cain's offering of his crops. Cain becomes outraged because he believes that Able has purposely tried to embarrass him, ultimately, leading Cain to become so enraged that he ends up murdering his only brother in cold blood. Throughout, 'The Rich Brother', Wolff portrays Peter as Cain because he shows a lack of devotion to God, creates a rival ship with his brother, and climatically abandons his only brother Donald.

Throughout the ?The Rich Brother? Pete never criticizes God but never speaks as profoundly about God as his brother does. His brother Donald is represented as almost a religious zealot where as Pete is merely portrayed as a rich business man. In the bible Cain is less favored then his younger brother Abel because of his gift to his almighty God. God favored Abel because Abel gift was that of his first born lamb whereas Cain?s gift was only part of his crop. Abel?s sacrifice of his first born lamb showe...

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