As Noah’s black sheep brother, Abel has been a constant disgrace for Noah and his family.  Picture Michael Corleone’s hapless older brother Fredo in “The Godfather” and you’ll get a sense of Abel’s frailty and foolishness.  A gentle soul, he just isn’t cut out for the day-to-day demands of a Mennonite life or a secular existence.  And he probably would have drifted off into the shadows, never to return, if not for Noah’s insistence that he pose as the father of a boy orphaned after his parents are murdered.  This shotgun father/son relationship forces Abel to pretend to be the man he could never be in real life.  By doing so, he rekindles his own sense of self-worth.