Nature vs. Nurture in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

884 WordsJun 23, 20184 Pages
Nature (our genes) and nurture (our environment) affect our individual differences in behavior and personality. In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley addresses the conflict of nature vs. nurture. Victor Frankenstein creates a "child" whom he abandons upon birth. This brings up questions such as, was the creature genetically inclined to be evil, or did the hostility he encountered turn him evil? Are one's surroundings determined by who they become later in life? Does nurture form one's characteristics that will determine who someone is later in life? Mary Shelley used these questions as an approach to show that the monster is intelligent, but destructive, and had guilt due to his environment and isolation. The monster’s guilt due to its…show more content…
In contrast, the monster expresses that if he had learned to behave and act like The monster acknowledges that his environment directly affected his behavior and personality. Growing and learning around the cottagers caused him to develop into a kind, caring, and helpful being. In contrast, the monster expresses that if he had learned to behave and act around someone such as a soldier, he wouldn't be the same. Upon the disappointed encounter with Felix, Agatha, and Safie, the monster no longer behaves the same. He expresses this when he says, “There was none among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and… sent me forth to this insupportable misery,” (Shelley 124). He is now hateful, rather than the trusting creature he once was. His environment and experiences have led him to alter his personality and perspective to suit the increasingly disappointment nature of his life. In "The Quarterly Review(1818), John Croker states that Frankenstein had seen a light which started this madness, and as a result, the creation had to nurture itself. Frankenstein studies life and death in order to figure out how to create one. Once he had seen the light, it encouraged him to take action. (PAGE 215 quote) This quote shows that Frankenstein went
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