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Word Count: 822
In the 1952 film East of Eden director and darshan Elia Kazan attempts to resolve the moral tension in the Cain and Abel story by depicting Cal as a sympathetic character The ambiguity of the biblical account is responsible for much of this tension God does not offer a reason for accepting Abels gift and rejecting Cains Neither of the brothers have a distinct personality and so the motivation for the murder is left to speculation Why is Cains punishment seemingly mitigated and what should the reader draw from the story Kazan and Steinbeck together sort through such problems using their imaginations to fill in textual gaps and formulating an interpretation relevant to their day Why would God favor Abel and not Cain This is the biggest problem for Kazan and Steinbeck Unfortunately the biblical text does not provide a clear answer so they must come up with one on their own Perhaps the sacrifice itself was bad After Adam loses nearly all of his money Cal takes it upon himself to reimburse his father Anticipating World War I the son invests five thousand dollars in beans and upon the wars arrival bean prices skyrocket Ecstatic Cal plans to surprise his father with the money for his birthday When that long anticipated day arrives Aron informs Adam of his engagement to Abra and his father is thrilled On the other hand when Cal presents the money to his father he replies Do you think I could take a profit from thatI dont want that money Even though his intentions were good because the money came from the war Adam refuses to accept it breaking his sons heart Thus Kazan and Steinbeck have formulated a reason for Gods behavior Apparently Cains gift originated from a faulty source whereas Abels was pure and honest This explanation also provides a motive for murder Why did Cain kill Abel Again information given in the biblical text is meager and
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