Examples Of Nurture In Frankenstein

720 Words3 Pages
At the end of Chapter 16 of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the monster describes to Victor Frankenstein, his creator, how he kills William after being abandoned by the family of De Lacey. This murder committed by the monster forms a stark contrast with his benevolence towards the family and the little girl earlier in the novel. Through the transformation of the monster’s attitude towards mankind, Shelley depicts the aspect of the human condition that one’s behavior, mental processes, and personality are mostly shaped by one’s environment (nurture), instead of innate characteristics (nature). Nurture plays a larger role than nature in shaping Frankenstein’s monster’s behavior. He is not born evil as thought by Victor. The monster enjoys the…show more content…
He is beaten and utterly rejected by the family which he loves and wishes to be a part of, his only connection to human society. Filled with “feelings of revenge and hatred” and “a kind of insanity…that burst all bounds of reason and reflection” for the first time, the monster burns the cottage, signaling a turn from the kind and loving character he once was (Shelley 127, 128). Moreover, when he saves a little girl from drowning and then approaches her and the man accompanying her, perhaps trying to connect with them, the man shoots him. His act of kindness is unappreciated, and his attempt to be accepted by mankind fails again. The monster swears to revenge himself against all human beings in order to “compensate for the outrages and anguish I had endured” (Shelley 130). At this point, the monster still has hope, as shown by him approaching William, assuming that he is “unprejudiced and had lived too short a time to have imbibed a horror of deformity” (Shelley 131). Unfortunately, he is rejected again, and this failure shatters his last hope to connect with human society. Learning that William is a part of Frankenstein’s family, he murders William and frames Justine as the murderer, carrying out the first step of his revenge against mankind, Victor in particular. When he finally
Get Access