Genetics Linked To Environment In Frankenstein

1177 words - 5 pages

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 to be responcieve to his or her needs.Early life relationships affect later development by shaping the way a individual will react towards other people.Because Victor neglected his parental responsibilty towards the creature, The creature was unable to respond well in his enviroment.
Because the creature is rejected, he seeks out new life experiences. He finds himself living in a hovel next to a family in a cottage. The creature tried to do good deeds for the family, such as chopping wood for them. In return, he wishes to seek out their love and companionship. However, he was restrained and weary of their reaction to his physical appearance (because of his previous experiences). “I longed to join them, but dared not. I remembered too well the treatment I had suffered the night before from the barbarous villagers, and in right to pursue, that for the present I would remain quietly in my hovel, watching, and endeavoring to discover the motives which influenced their actions”(110). The creature felt a close bond with the cottagers, although there was no physical contact. The bond that the creature shared with the cottagers, gave him a felling of protection from the outside world. When people form a secure base with...

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