Steinbeck’s East of Eden is the mother of all sibling rivalry books. Many of you know this book as James Dean’s first film. A template for all sibling rivalry and violence, Steinbeck reflected the bible’s story of Cain and Abel. When God liked Abel’s gift more than Cain’s, Cain became an irate sibling . He killed Abel. In East of Eden brother Charles has a sibling “ I Hate You story “ because his father likes brother Adam’s gift of a strap puppy more than Charles expensive German knife. So Charles beats Adam to a pulp.
As a parent Adam repeats his father’s favoritism of siblings leading to the same horrible end. Cal, Adam’s son, played by James Dean in the film, sees that his father Adam likes his brother Aaron’s birthday gift of more than his own. Like Cain, Cal causes his brother’s death in WW I.
If you are a parent and want to parent young children to escape sibling rivalry
Don’t compare siblings- like who got the first tooth and who walked first
Don’t favor one child- like the youngest or the oldest
If there is any violence between siblings- intervene immediately