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,
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However, in the story of Able and Cain, Cain made a successful attempt at killing him brother because his selfish desire to be the only one to receive God's love. Even though both Cable and Pete had all the things they needed to survive and more they could not share that ultimately led to the demise of their only siblings.
Although the short story, "The Rich Brother", is not an identical story to that of Cain and Able one can view the similarities through the profound use of Wolff's biblical metaphors. Wolff's biblical metaphors have created a coincidental character to that of the bibles Cain. Throughout the story one can come to the conclusion that Wolff compares Pete to Cain because Wolff gives Pete a self-interest state of mind, a lack of devotion to god, and bitter rivalry with his brother. Wolff leads his ending of "The Rich Brother" with Pete wife standing in the doorway, likely a metaphor for the gates of heaven, just as God as Cain, "Where is he? Where is your brother?" (819) Furthermore ending the reader with a satisfactory comparison of "The Rich Brother" to that of the biblical fable of Able and