Cain and Abel
The Graves/Jung model is an interpretative method that attempts to explain a variety of things on a variety of levels. It explains how individuals progress, how societies progress, how theories progress, how we view others, and how others view us; just to name a few. I will be applying the theory to analyze the story of Cain and Abel found in the fourth chapter of Genesis, in the Bible. I will be interpreting the three main characters to assess what level of the model they are functioning in.
We meet the main characters of the story in the first two verses. Cain is Abel’s older brother and we learn of their occupations, “Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. Their nature of their occupations could already be setting up the idea that Abel is physically small and Cain is physically larger. In the Hebrew world, shepherds are historically the youngest children and often girls. Later in the Bible, there is a mirror of this in 1st Samuel. it is King David (portrayed as the smallest amongst his brothers) who is also a shepherd. Typically anyone who “works the land” is going to have to be physically fit, which leads to more capabilities of physical violence. The author may have put these important details in to start to paint the picture of “helpless innocent Abel” and “big bully Cain”. This is just the beginning of why this is a Level 3 story of competitive, survival-of-the-fittest type interactions.
Even though the characters might be functioning at the level 3, I think the society they are living in is at least level four. We see this in verses three and five when the third main character is introduced, “the Lord”. The fact that Cain and Abel’s god needs a offering implies that at some point someone said or wrote that he needed one. They wouldn’t just do that if it were not made clear by society that offerings were expected. This is all fitting with Level four. This also implies that the god is at least a level four god....
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