Genetics Linked to Environment in Frankenstein

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Genetics Linked to Environment in Frankenstein In psychology, the nature versus nurture issue can be defined as the debate over the relative importance of biological predisposition (what a person is born with) and environmental influences (society and parents) as determinants of development. Often genetics and environment are treated as different factors, but in actuality, they are closely tied together. Each person’s genetic makeup influences the kinds of experiences they seek out and actually have, and these experiences can strengthen or weaken genetically based tendencies. A person’s biological makeup can influence environmental response. In the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein abandons his creature in disgust because of his deformities. The creature, in turn, becomes violent because of harsh treatment by society and his creator. The creature’s hideous appearance affected how he was treated by society, and ultimately, this mistreatment strengthened his violent nature. Victor immediately abandons the creature in disgust. The creature is made up of dead body parts and is gigantic in stature. From the beginning of the story, the creature’s genetic makeup has already influenced his first encounter with mankind. Victor retells his encounter with his creation “His jaws opened, and he muttered some inarticulate sounds, while a grin wrinkled his cheeks. He might have spoken, but I did not hear; one hand was stretched out, seemingly to detain me, but I escaped, and rushed downstairs”(58). Because the creature never forms a bond with Victor, he is subjected to the cruelty of his environment.The conflict of trust versus mistrust, revolves around whether or not a person becomes able to rely on other people t... ... middle of paper ... ...Because the creature is abused, he lashes out by being destructive and killing people. The creature’s physical features led to the destruction of his character. Physical appearance has an enormous amount to do with a person’s place in society. Frankenstein was written in 1816, but it still deals with some of the issues that are at the forefront of society. It is hard to get rid of the images that are imprinted in our mind of what is considered beautiful or acceptable. Because the creature is not beautiful, the environment, which he is surrounded by, rejects him. The creature became evil because his genetics did not fit with the type of environment he is exposed to. I feel that genetics have a lot to do with the way environment responds to an individual. It is apparent in everyday life that looks are important to judge the placement of individuals in society.

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