Nature versus Nurture in Frankenstein

Topics: Frankenstein, Nature versus nurture, Human nature Pages: 4 (1619 words) Published: December 2, 2013
Nature versus Nurture in Frankenstein

Nature versus nurture; this is a common debate physiologists are in constant question over. In regards to the development of an individual’s personality, some believe that one is born with an innate personality. In the meantime, others believe that one’s personality is developed through experience over their lifetime. Both nature and nurture are major contributors to the development of characters in the story, Frankenstein. In Mary Shelley’s famous novel, Frankenstein, there is evidence that Shelley views Nature of being the more powerful component to the development of a personality. In the novel, Frankenstein, the main character, Victor Frankenstein, has a natural desire to learn everything he can about natural philosophy. When speaking of his childhood, Victor exclaims, “but by some law in my temperature they were turned not towards childish pursuits, but to an eager desire to learn…my enquiries were directed to the metaphysical or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world,” (Shelley 19). Victor Frankenstein admits that his desire to learn is in his own nature, and does take interest in more common childhood preoccupants. Even when his own father disapproves by saying, “‘Ah! Cornelius Agrippa! My dear Victor, do not waste your time upon this; it is sad trash!’“ (Shelley 20), Victor still remains loyal to his studies. The outburst given by his father does not have any negative impact over Victor in any way; “But the cursory glance my father had taken of my volume by no means assured me that he was acquainted with its contents; and I continued to read with the greatest avidity,” (Shelley 21). This statement shows that Victor is not worried about the opinions of society or those who are raising him; he knows that studying natural philosophy is his passion, and he plans to continue studying no matter what. Obviously, Victor does not have anyone to confide in when learning about his studies, therefore, there...
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