I hope you'll forgive my mania for diagrams lately. I'm just practicing for stuff I have to do for work. But a couple of years ago I put up a reflection piece on Steinbeck's East of Eden entitled "Shrewd as Serpents, Guileless as Doves." About a year before I reread The Brothers Karamazov. I don't know the secondary literature well enough, but I'm sure others have made the connection between the two books. This diagram shows how the two map onto one another I think pretty neatly, and it gives me a chance to riff on a theme I've been thinking a lot about lately.
I don't want to make too much of it; it's just an opportunity for me to make a diagram, but the diagram summarizes a basic Kierkegaardian idea that I doubt either was aware of, and it is in the background of my piece Metaxis--to be human is to be pulled in two opposite directions at the same time--toward the eternal and ideal on the right, and toward the particular and finite on the left-- and the people who reach what I think of as "Menschhood" are those who live in the space between these opposing forces, hold them together, and over time marry or integrate the two.
Those who don't hold it together tend toward either Hell West--which is the conventional idea of Hell--the realm of the seven deadly sins, the human life driven by instinct unmixed with grace. It's where Papa Karamazov and Smerdyakov are situated in The Brothers K, and Cathy, the sociopath brothel madame and mother to the two brothers, Aron and Cal, in East of Eden. But Kierkegaard, Dostoyevski, and Steinbeck point out that's only the western wing of hell; the east wing is occupied by those who are seduced by angelism. Both Ivan and Aron live there, and Adam, the brothers' father, spends a lot of time there as well.