Nature vs. Nurture
(Frankenstein by Mary Shelley)
Nature versus nurture is one of the oldest debates in the world of psychology. It centers on the contributions of genetic inheritance and environmental factors to the development of human beings.
In a story about a man who creates a being, or monster, in a way that much resembles the birthing of a child, this aspect plays a big role. There are many ‘environmental factors’ that came into play in the very beginning of the life of Frankenstein’s monster, ones that could have easily directly affected his being. Right from creation he feels abandonment and loneliness and goes on to become a very withdrawn character. Unlike natural circumstances where a child is born into a caring family and instilled with particular values that are acceptable to the social order, in this situation no such process took place.
Upon his conception, the creation was deserted, abandoned and left to determine his way through culture on his own. He began the story of his life with the discoveries he made in sensations with light, dark, hunger, thirst and cold. The first contact he received from a being was that of disgust from the very man that was his creator and he was born into a unkind world and didn’t understand why people didn’t treat him the way they do others.
In his interactions, or observations with the family neighboring him he learns many things about relationships and the idea of family. Through them he learns how to communicate and this opened his world to many opportunities that would continue to alter his personality. An important character of the group, Sofie, a foreigner who conveniently came to the family and he silently connected and learned along with her as she learned the language. The creature learns what love through the interactions of this family and it only opens the void he has between his own creator and realizes he has no one to care for him in the way he sees interaction between other beings....
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