Nature vs Nurture; Where Does the Bad Begin?

993 Words4 Pages
How does a person become wicked? When a baby is first born, some people believe the baby is pure innocence, only to be contaminated by his or her environment. Others think heredity predetermines whether a baby is good or evil. Does the environment in which children grow modify their future, or is it within their genetics? As kids grow up, the effect that their environment has becomes obvious. These nurturing effects are evident in both Perry and Dick in the novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Both of these men grew up in households that lacked appropriate parenting, which affected the development of each man. Considering how both Dick and Perry’s upbringings resulted in the creation of two murderers, children’s futures rely heavily on the nurturing from their childhood because this influences their thoughts and actions.
No matter what the genetic make-up of a child’s mind is, the environment surrounding a growing child is the key factor in mental development. Parents are responsible for raising their own children, but if this nurturing is not proper, the effects are costly. These effects are evident in Perry Smith. Perry grew up in a household full of inhumane conditions. These inappropriate surroundings were the main culprit in Perry’s dysfunctional mind. He was raised in a house full of alcohol, abuse, and loneliness. All of these conditions can severely cripple the mental development of a growing child. The most significant influence is suicidal thoughts. Researchers investigated the effects abuse has on children, and the Researchers concluded that “Among those whose parents were not substance abusers in the home, 2.6% had attempted suicide, while among those whose parents were substance abusers in the home, 7.0% had commit...

... middle of paper ...

... be corrupted by atrocious parenting and inappropriate environments, or be positively influenced by a proper upbringing of all aspects. The development and forthcoming of children’s lives depend vitally on the nurturing received by their environment, as seen in both Dick and Perry. Is a killer really predetermined at birth, or does the environment alter the mind resulting in the development of a murderer?

Works Cited

Capote, Truman. In Cold Blood. New York: Vintage Books, 1965. Print.
Clark, Robin E., and Judith Freeman Clark. "Effects on Adults Abused as Children." Health Reference Center. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
“Nature and Nurture in Mental Development, VIII, 291-306” Science Progress 96.4 (2013): 430. Science In Context. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
McLeod, S. A. (2007). “Nature Nurture in Psychology.” Simple Psychology, McLeod, S. A. (2007).
Open Document