Analysis of the Secret of the Wild Child: Documentary on Genie
911 Words4 Pages
I watched the documentary “Secret of the Wild Child”, on a girl who was in isolation from birth to thirteen years old. Her name was Genie and is referred to as a feral child. This means she was without human contact from a young age, and has no experience of human care, social behavior, and, of the human language. Feral children are often known as being raised as animals and therefore imitating their behaviors. However, a child who is severely neglected is also considered a feral child. During the time she was discovered, around 1970, there was a major debate in the field of psychology. The famous nature verses nurture argument, meaning does genetics play a greater role in development or does one’s environment. In the case of Genie, the real focus was on her language development and deciphering if there was a critical age to learn a language.
On November 4, 1970 in Los Angeles, California Genie’s condition was brought to attention by a social worker. The worker discovered the 13-year old girl in a small, dimly lit, confined bedroom. An investigation by authorities exposed that the child had spent most of her life in this room and typically was tied to a potty chair. Genie was found in diapers because she was not potty trained. Her case is an example of extreme isolation from human contact, society, sunlight, and any other environments besides her room. The deprivation of attachment showed when she was timid to humans, almost afraid. Someone whose life was a developmental nightmare could not possibly be expected to have the basic trust that the world is trustworthy and predictable. The life she lived was incredibly horrifying as morals, and psychology portray just how severe the consequences were on Genie.
Genie’s father would b...
... middle of paper ...
...ter care home somewhere in southern California. Her present condition is debated. One individual hired an investigator in 2000 and supposedly found her to be happy. Another person, this time a psychiatrist, who visited her found her to be silent, depressed, and chronically institutionalized. After watching this documentary, I truly was appreciative to the family care and environment I was born into. The importance of human contact became very evident through the heartbreaking discussion of Genie. I was able to develop successfully though Erikson’s stages as I had a basic trust, a will to do things myself, an initiative to create plans, and a sense of competence. Genie on the other hand has been deprived of happiness, a sense of safety, love needs, human contact, opportunities to learn, and many other factors that makes a healthy, normal, happy human in society.