[Solved] the impact of nurture in novel frankenstein

The idea of nurture over nature is a deeply displayed topic in current day issues as well as the novel “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Nurture above nature is a continually debated subject because it is known that both genetics and environment play a role in personality; however, there is no clear conclusion as to which is a greater determining factor of human development. Nurture, or rather the lack thereof, is a predominant influence on actions made in Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein.” The lack of nurture is displayed in Victor’s childhood, the creature’s good intentions, and the creature’s decreased innocence.

Victor Frankenstein’s childhood is a prime example of nurture impacting a personality. Victor talks of the role parents must take in the life of their child and how his parents fulfilled that role when he says “…the innocent and helpless creature bestowed on them by heaven, whom to bring up to good, and whose future lot it was in their hands to direct to happiness or misery, according as they fulfilled their duties towards me.”(Shelley 19) This talks of how parents impact the feelings of their children and if the child is happy or miserable. In the case of Victor, he is nurtured to the point where he is obsessive and craves for the feeling of having one thing to himself. Elizabeth is a “gift” to Victor as a child, and this makes him feel the need to keep items to himself, as he thinks of Elizabeth as almost an item to be only his. This is shown when Victor states “…till death she [Elizabeth] was to be mine only.”(21) Victor craves having something, or someone, to himself, yet does not care to nurture his own innocent creature. Victor’s creature is innocent in his actions and intentions unless spurred to do otherwise by the actions of others in the novel. The creature has good intentions throughout the novel and does not intend to cause that harm that he causes. The creature had multiple experiences in which it tried to do good for others, and ended up being rejected. Victor’s creation takes a strong liking toward a family it found, finding them interesting and stealing from them. This family is poor and once the creature discovers this, it stops stealing and does chores for the family, such as gathering firewood.

The older man of the family is blind, and while the others are gone, the creature talks to the man, hoping for a social connection. Once the other members of the family get back, they drive the creature away, assuming that it is going to hurt the man. The creature also attempts to save a girl from drowning, while doing this, the creature is shot. This is because the male companion of the girl assumes that the creature is trying to harm the girl. The creature kills Victor’s brother, William, and frames Victor’s sister, Justine for the murder. This was intentional because of the hatred the creature had for Victor and the rage it was feeling towards him. As the creature experiences more and more rejection, it begins to change mindsets. The creature was attacked as he entered the village, and in its innocence, it hid and retreated, not intending to harm anyone. “…some attacked me, until, grievously bruised by stones and many other kinds of missile weapons, I escaped to the open country, and fearfully took refuge…”(94) The creature was attacked, though instead of fighting back, it retreated and hid out of fear. It was not until multiple cases of rejection that the creature decided to seek vengeance against humanity.

“The feelings of kindness and gentleness which I had entertained but a few moments before gave place to a hellish rage and gnashing of teeth. Inflamed by pain, I vowed eternal hatred and vengeance to all mankind.”(129) Not until the creature had been attacked on multiple occasions did it begin to hate mankind. The mindset and actions of the creature change throughout the novel, and this is because of the influence of humans rejecting it. This feeling of rejection pushes the creature further from its innocent, pure state. Nurture, rather than nature, is a larger determining factor of the creature’s development in this novel. The later actions of Victor’s creation are impacted by Victor’s roughly nurtured childhood, the pure intentions of the creature, and the shift in innocence that is displayed by the creature. “…perhaps, if my first introduction to humanity had been made by a young soldier, burning for glory and slaughter, I should have been imbued with different sensations.”(117) If the creature were to be accepted by its creature from the first introduction, the actions and feelings that the creature displayed would have been different from the ones shown. If a parental role is to not nurture or overly nurture their “creation,” the impact can be displayed differently, though said “creation” will be impacted.

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