Monday, April 12, 2010

Another cain and abel?

In the first half of the book, the focus is on the history of the two brothers, george & robert. Though they are of the same parentage, one is brought up by the biological father and the other is brought up by the priest of the biological mother. The mother who is passively absent from the boys’ life except in birth, was so fearful of her husband’s sinning ways that she split her sons apart. The ironic thing about the split is the son she wants on a righteous path is the one who strays. The son who is brought up in sin and indulgence is more seemingly proper. The brother brought up by the biological father (george) is privileged and the golden child of his father. He has no real knowledge of his brother, only relative knowledge. He knows he has one but not the specifics of the situation. The brother brought up by the priest of the mother (robert) is a religious zealot, who has no poise or grace and is in almost every way the opposite of his brother. The brothers meet during a tennis match where george is playing and robert interferes with the game in any way feasibly possible. He stands in the middle of the match trying to impede play, and even after being hit and discouraged several times, the boy still returns. Though this shows some tenacity in wanting to be a presence in his brother’s life, I think it was gone about in the wrong way. The brother brought up by the priest is very jealous of the privilege and station that his brother george has. He sees it as his right, his place and has very childish wishes and wants regarding the situation. george tries to tell his father of the situation at hand and how his brother is trying to insinuate himself into the life that george has, but the father just tells the boy to let it roll off his back and not pay it any mind. This was a horrible mistake and led to the death of his beloved son. The ‘religious’ brother eventually kills off his other brother in a rage that is reminiscent of Cain and Abel. The father shortly follows the son into the grave leaving robert to inherit what he believed to be his in the first place. The brother of god doesn’t feel remorse for his actions but believes that he has done no wrong either to his dead brother or his dead father. The rage and discontentment that the brother feels is not likely to be soothed with his father’s estate or his father’s money. It also leaves the remaining brother living on the seedy side of life, he has killed his remaining biological family, one directly and the other as a result of his actions. The brother of god feeling no remorse for murder, a religiously punishable offense is interesting to note, one would think growing up in a strict religious background would cause the brother to lead a more ‘straight and narrow’ kind of life, instead of one full of murder, lies and stealing.

1 comment:

Abby Elisabeth said...

I like the fact that you paralleled it to Cain and Abel! How fitting. Cain, just like Robert, got caught up in the idea of "religion" and became so fixated that he could not see what was wrong with his actions. Thanks for pointing that out, and for your summary!