LOYALTY - 1 Due to the fact that humans are social beings...

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1 Due to the fact that humans are social beings with social groups, certain loyalties must be valued more than others eventually because otherwise, there would be too many competing allegiances. Common loyalties include God, family, country, and self, and often, these loyalties clash with one another. At such a juncture, the onus falls upon the individual to choose which loyalties are placed above the others. In a few of his short stories, Ambrose Bierce seems to imply that family must be placed over at least one’s devotion to the army. Also, in the short story “The Devil and Daniel Webster, a man attempts to cheat the natural order of things by selling himself to the devil. He does this, however, for the betterment of his family, and is thus ultimately spared. As evidenced by the short stories of Ambrose Bierce as well as The Devil and Daniel Webster, devotion to family must be the chief loyalty that governs the actions of humans. Two of Bierce’s short stories, “Three and One are One” and “The Affair at Coulter’s Notch” both deal with soldiers struggling with competing loyalties—those of family and nation. In the former story Barr Lassiter grows up in a Southern family with a patriarch described as possessing an “uncompromising devotion to duty “ (Bierce, 378). Perhaps influenced by such a “citadel” of duty to find a cause worthy of devotion, Barr decides to join the Union’s side in the
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course ISS 215 taught by Professor Lang during the Spring '06 term at Michigan State University.

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LOYALTY - 1 Due to the fact that humans are social beings...

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