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Nature Vs. Nurture In The Novel Frankenstein

2205 words - 9 pages

Does one enter the world evil or does one become malicious gradually because of life experiences? Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is a fiction story about the scientist Victor Frankenstein and his destructive creation of a monster that ruins his life. The monster that Victor creates is born good but corrupted by the world. As the world, in fear, continually rejects the monster, he quickly transitions from a being who was good to an evil one. Reading the novel, the science of human behavior comes into question. In the novel Frankenstein, the author Mary Shelley uses the monster’s constant rejection from society to show that a person’s traits are effected more by his environment than by his nature.
The idea of nature vs. nurture comes into play in the novel. The monster’s environment nurtured him into a malicious being from an originally good one. According to the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, “Nature, which may be defined in terms of inheritance, biological background, and genetic makeup, must be taken into account, along with nurture, which may be defined in terms of experience and learning.” The debate is whether a persons innate qualities or their personal experiences make up individual differences. We are aware that physical characteristics are genetic, but many physiologists differ on the idea if who we are is entirely hereditary. There is a term, “tabula rasa, meaning a blank slate” that comes from the empiricists approach to psychology, it is the idea that we are born with a blank slate and our experiences shape them. When the monster is first created we see that he started with a blank, good slate, not knowing anything about the world. As he increases his knowledge, he begins to realize how much of an outcast he really is, as something different and evil.
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The creature is born kind. It is nurture, or lack thereof, that made him malicious. The monster is first seen as good because he loves humanity and even helps people in some cases. **** help girl As the creature discovered more about the world, he had difficulty understanding the evil of it. If the monster had been treated kindly by humans than the story could have gone a little differently. In an article on Nature versus nurture there is an example, “certain individuals might have the genetic potential to be anywhere from 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, but their experience (for example, exercise, nutrition) determines the height within that range to which they eventually grow.” (*****)If you took this example and compared it to the creatures experiences, you would find that it is possible that he could have lived a simple, nice life. Due to his hideous features, his rejection cause him to become revengeful. He did not “grow” to be who he could have been because his encounters changed him.
How can someone become good with no one to teach or support them? The monster was a good being and after being outcast...

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