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The Worth of an Individual One of the prominent features in East of Eden is Steinbecks insistence that all men have the power to choose between good and evil Lisca 266 There is an ongoing debate over rather people are born good or evil or if they choose between good and evil Steinbeck believes that while persons are inherently good or evil heshe still has the choice to live a good or evil life This choice is what sets the human race above the animals Humans are the only beings that can choose to act for good or evil In fact they are the only beings with the ability to struggle over the issue in the first place Steinbeck sees this ability as the greatest thing that there is He drives his point home through his novel East of Eden In East of Eden Adam and Cal reveal that the worth of a man or woman comes from hisher ability to make the choice to rise above hisher circumstances and choose good over evil Steinbeck uses Adam to show that a man is useless as part of a group and has no value until he begins to make decisions for himself The Army is depicted as a group that tolerates no individual differences in its members absorbing them completely into itself Gunton 374 When Adam joins the army it tries to make him conform to its ways and act as part of a whole In the Army Adam is pressured to act against his convictions that it is wrong to hurt people He ends up missing his shots on purpose and helping as many injured people as possible Adam is a sharpshooter so if he killed any enemy it was an accident of ricochet Steinbeck 35 By choosing to stick to his convictions and not act with the group Adam is able to make a difference By helping and not hurting others Adam brings a
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