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What is meant when it is said that someone is an individual Are not all people individuals each being perfectly capable of free will and of choosing his or her own path Does this ability for choice create the individual or are individuals those who have a more keen understanding of their ability for choice and differentiate themselves from others through its employment In The Letters of Abelard and Heloise the two title characters reveal much about themselves through their writings Both Abelard and Heloise show themselves to be individuals expressing their beliefs even when these beliefs run contrary to social norms Yet while both begin their lives with individualism later in life Abelard becomes more of a religious conformist while Heloise continues to question her place in life Abelard starts his individualism at a very young age by choosing the life of a philosopher and continues to question established norms throughout his schooling Abelards father was a soldier who wished Abelard to carry on his tradition Instead Abelard becomes enamored with schooling and knowledge giving up a life of warfare to follow a life searching for wisdom I was so carried away by my love of learning he writes that I renounced the glory of a soldiers life made over my inheritance and rights and withdrew from the court of Mars in order to kneel at the feet of Minerva 58 Abelard soaks up knowledge and finds his calling in the field of dialectic or the reasoning of truth by logical arguments He roams the countryside looking for places where his interest is shared and eventually ends up studying in Paris under William of Champeaux who Abelard says was the supreme master of the subject 58 Yet Williams reputation means nothing to Abelard In the first of several instances where he refuses to accept teachings merely on the basis of their teachers Abelard sets out to refute some of his arguments and
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