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The Theme of Nature Versus Nurture in Shelly's Frankenstein Essay

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Nature versus nurture is a debate of importance of one’s qualities when born, or of their personal experiences, leading them to the point where they are today. “You got your green eyes from your mother and your freckles from your father. But where did you get your thrill-seeking personality and talent for singing?” (Kimberly Powell). Kimberly raises a question that has been asked for centuries, “Do you learn this growing up, or did you genetically inherit these traits? One of the themes of Frankenstein is nature versus nurture. The author, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, was born and raised in London, England. Shelley’s first and most famous novel was Frankenstein. Victor Frankenstein, the main character in the novel, creates a creature using his knowledge of science, and body parts from gravesites. The Creature is born, and has good and tender intensions for others around him. This soon begins to change as the social community does not accept the fact of an eight foot, hideous being. The Creature starts a rampage, swearing to have revenge over his creator, Victor, since he too did not accept him. In Frankenstein, nurture is significantly more dominant then nature, impacting the final outcome of the characters in the novel. Some characters outcomes that are impacted more dominantly by nurture are; Walton, Victor, and the Creature. The creation of the Creature impacts not only Victor’s life, but the lives around him.
Even though Walton’s life is not directly impacted by the creation of the Creature, his upbringing as a child greatly affects his outcome in the novel. This dominance of nurture over nature is shown through his; love of reading, non-adventurous childhood, and the inheritance of a fortune. Walton’s love of reading as a c...


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...aracters in Frankenstein are more dominantly impacted by nurture, rather than nature. The upbringing in the lives of; Walton, Victor, and the Creature, significantly impact their outcomes. Shelly brings up the point of in the World what is more dominant to the final outcome of a person’s life, nature, or nurture. Shelly uses the creature as a way to show how powerful social acceptance can alter, or determine the outcome of someone’s life. From this novel, I looked back on my own life. Which is more dominant in my life, nature or nurture? It is far harder to change something that is already genetically imprinted in one’s genes. But you cannot force one self to not learn from life experiences. So, yet again it comes to the century old question, Do you genetically inherit your traits, or do you learn them over life experiences? Nature, versus Nurture, it is up to you.


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