Nature Versus Nurture Essay

1085 words - 5 pages

In the well-received novel “Pudd’nhead Wilson,” Mark Twain skillfully addresses the ancient argument about the origin of one’s character and whether it’s derived from his nature or his surroundings. We can best see this battle between nature versus nurture by inspecting the plot lines that follow the characters Thomas a Becket Driscoll, Valet de Chambre, and Roxana the slave. Thomas was born into a wealthy white family while Roxy birthed Chambers into a life of slavery. It seemed as though each would have gone their separate ways into opposite walks of life, but Roxy secretly swapped the children, which destined each to their counterintuitive fates. Through their words and actions, Tom, ...view middle of the document...

” This selfish deed proves that Tom is indeed self-interested and doesn’t accommodate anyone no matter how kind they are to him. For a while, the revelation that Tom is actually black seems to humble his demeanor and revert him back to his true nature. Yet, Twain quickly diminishes that train of thought by suggesting that only “his opinions were totally changed…but the main structure of his character was not…Under the influence of a great mental and moral upheaval, his habits had taken on the appearance of complete change, but after a while with the subsidence of the storm, both began to settle toward their former places” (Twain 48). No more than a week later did Tom return to his old, selfish ways. This “heartbeat” of a transformation utterly surprised me, as I could not believe how rooted Tom and, in retrospect, we, are in our ways simply because of how we were raised.
The next “proof of concept” we see in the effect of our environment on our identities is with the usurped Chambers, the rightful heir to the Driscoll family name. As stated above, Chambers’ life is a homely affair. He grows up to expect nothing, and these expectations are met perfectly. For example, Chambers was always being tricked by Tom into doing “stupid” things such as saving Tom from a fake drowning just to be humiliated. Yet, this form of neglect helps him to become a man of self-sufficiency and good health, as the discipline he receives creates a sense of strength that can’t be attributed simply from his caucasian bloodline. Towards the very end of the novel, Twain validates my argument of nurture instead of nature when he writes about Chambers’ newly awarded “white life” after the climactic courtroom battle to solve Driscoll’s murder. Twain reflects, “The real heir suddenly found himself rich and free, but in a most embarrassing situation…his manners were the manners of a slave. Money and fine clothes could not mend the defects or cover them up; they only made them the more glaring and more pathetic” (Twain 122). See, Chambers, even though...

Find Another Essay On Nature Versus Nurture

Nurture versus Nature Essay

967 words - 4 pages Nurture versus Nature The human brain is a portion of the central nervous system and serves as the control center for movement, sleep, hunger, and virtually everything else vital and necessary to survive. Not only that, but the brain also controls all human emotions from fear and love, to elation and sorrow. It also receives and interprets countless signals from other parts of the body and the outside environment. Summarily, the brain makes

The Nature Versus Nurture Debate Essay

859 words - 3 pages versus nurture debate is one of the oldest issues in psychology. The debate centers on the relative contributions of genetic inheritance and environmental factors to human development.” - (Kendra Cherry). So far the evidence collected from years of research and data suggests a resolution of equal importance between the two factors as fifty/fifty. In the debate of nature v nurture there are people who take the position that all or most

Nature Versus Nurture Research Essay: Violent Behavior

1158 words - 5 pages The nature versus nurture debate is an ongoing debate among social scientists relating to whether ones personality/personal characteristics are the result of his/her inherited genetic traits or the result of environmental factors such as upbringing, social status, financial stability, and more. One of the topics that are discussed among psychologists is the study of violent behavior among people as a whole, and in particular, individuals

Psychological debate of Nature versus Nurture

620 words - 2 pages product of the environment.The nature and nurture dichotomy refers to the disposition of people based on their innate factors versus environmental influences on them. Innate factors include genetics or inborn temperaments, such as, whether if a person is an introvert or extrovert, their personality and characteristics. Nurture is the shaping of an individual through influences of their environment and what they are exposed to. Nature verses nurture

Nature versus Nurture: Foster Homes and Orphanages

972 words - 4 pages Nature versus Nurture: Foster Homes and Orphanages Psych 500 July 5, 2010 For decades, nature versus nurture debate has been an ongoing argument among experts studying life span development. Those who believe that nature is the determining factor of development argue that genes determine an individual's personality, attitudes, and behavior. The other side of the debate among experts is that nurture or experiences and environment have

Nature versus Nurture in the Educational Setting

1914 words - 8 pages In today’s society children are faced with many factors that can influence their behaviour within a care or educational setting. These factors can sometimes enhance a child’s behaviour and in some cases impair or damage how a child learns behaviour. When looking at the factors that influence children’s behaviour is important to take into consideration the nature versus nurture debate, MacLeod-Brudenell (2008) informs the reader that the term

Nature versus Nurture Debate in Violence, Environment and Other Aspects

779 words - 4 pages Scientists and biologist have argued the Nature versus Nurture debate for decades. This debate is about the degree to which our environment and heredity, affects our behavior and developmental stages. According to this debate, nature can be described as, the behavior of a person is occurring because of their genetic makeup. Since the behavior of a person is due to their genetic makeup, then, it (nature) should also influence a person’s growth

Nature Versus Nurture: Both Play a Role in Development

513 words - 2 pages Nature versus nurture is a commonly debated topic in the scientific world. For example were all child molesters abused as children themselves or are their genes or other factors to blame for their bad decisions? Genes seem to determine much about children, such as eye color and height, but do they also determine behavior and overall health, or is the environment the children were raised in to blame? For example, when a child is misbehaving, is

nature versus nurture debate

629 words - 3 pages B.S. in WILDLIFE ECOLOGY (total credit requirement = 121-123) Name: ID #: Concentration/Minor ___________________________________________ First Year Fall Semester First Year Spring Semester BIO 100 Basic Biology/Lab 4 BIO 200 Biology of Organisms/Lab 4 ENG 101 College Composition 3 CMJ 103 Fund. of Public Communication 3 MAT 122 or Pre-Calculus or ECO 100 or Introduction to Economics or MAT 126 Calculus 4 ECO 120 Principles of Microeconomics 3

The Formula for Fruition: The Age Old Debate of Nature Versus Nurture by Kendra Cherry

1887 words - 8 pages the future in a logical and helpful way, weighing natural passion and skill over the resources and support we may initially have. Works Cited Cherry, Kendra. "The Age Old Debate of Nature Versus Nurture." About.com Psychology. Web. 18 May 2014. . Mason, Lydia. “Nature vs. Nurture in Education”. Survey. 15 May 2014. Mason, Cynthia. Personal interview. 10 May 2014. Webley, Kayla

Nature versus Nurture: Celebrity Status

704 words - 3 pages An individuals status of celebrity is showcased through social media outlets, such as TMZ and Twitter. The constant access to these individuals of higher status brings to question whether nature or nurture influences their _____. “Nature is the inherent way a person is born, due to genetics. Nurture is the way a person is formed by outside sources in the world”, Nature Vs Nurture blog post. Genetically, these individuals are like you and I

Similar Essays

Nature Versus Nurture Essay

988 words - 4 pages The argument of nature versus nurture is about whether or not an individual’s physical and behavioral traits are innate or if it is just based on personal experience. It is known that certain physical characteristics, such as eye and hair color, the pigment of skin and eye sight, are all determined by genetics (“Conditions”). It is still unclear whether or not if personality and mental abilities are already “preprogrammed” into us before we’re

Nature Versus Nurture Essay

1081 words - 5 pages Nature versus Nurture Ashley Preston Baker College General Psych Kendra Henry 05-26-14 Nature versus Nurture Professionals and researchers, for years, have contemplated on the effects of nature versus nurture and how human development and the response comes into play. The argument for nature is, the terms of genetics or gender of a certain individual play a role that is stronger than one’s personal outcome and their choices they come

Nature Versus Nurture Debate Essay

1052 words - 4 pages Genes or life experiences? What determines who you truly are? The nature versus nurture debate is one of the most popular debates throughout history. It questions whether genetics are the thing that decide who you are, or whether it is the life experiences that influence your characteristics and qualities. Did you gain that good humour from your mother? Or is it simply there due to the influences in the environment you grew up in? A rather vast

Nature Versus Nurture Essay

1345 words - 5 pages purpose of the study was to evaluate the disparity between white and black students' IQ's, have shown the minority groups getting worse scores than those studies where students were not told the purpose of the study. The argument of heredity and environment amongst minority groups could be a completely separate topic, but must be taken into account when studying nature versus nurture in terms of intelligence (Eysneck, 1971 reading 2)Arthur Jenson