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this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual
human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would
fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes,
Here, in Chapter 13,
in another aside to the story, the narrator sets for his belief
that the power of free will in the human mind is the most precious
of human capabilities. He declares his intention to fight against
any force—ideological, religious, political, or otherwise—that threatens
to hinder or constrain this freedom of the individual. In highlighting
the importance of free choice early in the novel, the narrator foreshadows
the idea of timshel, or freedom to choose between
good and evil, that becomes the main idea in East of Eden. Although
Cal and other characters struggle with the problem of evil throughout
the rest of the novel, the narrator plants a seed of hope early,
in these words.
Ace your assignments with our guide to East of Eden!