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Frankenstein: Nature V. Nurture

  • Date Submitted: 05/08/2011 11:53 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.2 
  • Words: 992
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Both nature and nurture contribute to the monsters behavior. However Mary Shelley suggests that nurture plays more of a role in the monsters development. The moment the monster opens his eyes he is alone. At first he acts civilized but after being repeatedly scorned by man he becomes spiteful and malicious. Doctor Frankenstein’s monster was not inherently evil or malicious; he was a product of society’s rejection.
The monster is alone from the very beginning. He is confused about his feelings so he sits down and cries. “I was a poor, helpless, miserable wretch; I knew, and could distinguish nothing; but feeling pain invade me on all sides, I sat down and wept.” (Shelley 84). Mary Shelley supports the Tabula Rasa, or blank slate, view of nature versus nurture. Meaning when the monster is born, he does not have any distinguishable personality traits (1“Nature”). Before being corrupted by society he is sensitive and pure, so he cries to himself, instead of lashing out and causing harm. With no one around to comfort him, he gains pleasure from the simple things. He marvels at the beauty of the moon, and he becomes engrossed with the mysteries of fire (Powell).
After weeks of wandering around in the forest, the monster stumbles upon a cabin. When he steps inside the old man that lives there screams and runs away. This is the monsters first experience with a human. At first he thinks nothing of it, but he soon realizes that he is not accepted. “…some fled, some attacked me, until…I escaped to the  

open country and fearfully took refuge in a low hovel…Here, then, I retreated…however miserable form the inclemency of the season, and still more from the barbarity of man.” (Shelley 88). After his second rejection the monster comes to realize he is not accepted, so he finds refuge in the forest and becomes isolated. Even though the monster is very social and loving he begins to learn people react to him in a negative way, so he isolates himself. This supports Judith...


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