Who are you at this very moment? I don’t mean what your name is. what are the people sitting in front of me made up off? are you judgemental, are you nice, easily angered funny or bitter? If your personality does consist of any of these common traits, what drove you towards those personality traits? Were you born with them or have they changed because of your life experiences. These questions are the core behind the nature vs nurture debate. This debate has raged over many years going back and forth, never really coming up with a concise conclusion.
Nature is the argument that points towards the idea that we are all born with predisposed traits and personality. Which means that we are born with all of our characteristics and quirks. Nurture on the other hand is the debate that when we are born we are a blank slate. This implies that none of our personality has formed yet it will be shaped in the future by our surroundings and impact us as we develop. We can see that the nature vs nurture debate goes on throughout Frankenstein wondering whether Frankenstein’s monster is born a monster or was he shaped into one.
nurture is the theory mainly based on a blank slate idea originally put forward by Johne Locke in his essay concerning human understanding. His theory suggests that as babies. when we first enter the world the environment begins to shape the people we are to become. Some major factors include our parents, siblings, school, friends and a lot more. All of these external influences change you. When the idea was first put forth, it was mainly speculation with no major facts to back it up. Over time this changed with experiments happening to back up the nurture debate. One major experiment that shows the nurture side is the bobo doll experiment.
Simply put they had aggressive role models in front of the children to see if they replicated more aggressive tendencies later on in the experiment. from this experiment, they saw that the children who had been exposed to the role models tended to be more aggressive. This shows that the environment affected the behaviour of the children which then shows that peoples behaviour can be influenced. This is because the children imitated the aggressive role models. Which suggest that at least some of the nurture beliefs are correct. This can relate back to Frankenstein and explain the reason that Frankenstein’s monster did terrible things. He could have been imitating the aggressive behaviour inflicted towards him because of the way he was treated throughout the book. All of the hateful acts lead him to react the way he did as the children had in this experiment.
The nature theory is the idea that we are born with genetic traits that will determine our characteristics. One example of an extreme naturist is John Bowlby and his Attachment and loss theory where he looked into the reason that a child is attached to there mother. Bowlby’s theory was that the attachment a baby and the mother has is innate and biological. Which is the opposite opinion to Nurtirists Dollard’s and millers theory . Bowlby suggested that it provided an evolutionary advantage because it would mean that more children would survive if the mother and child both wanted to be in the vicinity of each for protection.
They did an experiment to check the theory and the children were distressed as soon as they were away from there mother for a certain period of time. Even if they were fed by a different person this disproves the Dollard’s and Miller’s theory who believed that attachment was caused by the person feeding the baby. this proves that certain psychological traits are caused by your genetics and are innate. in that case, Frankenstein may have been correct about the monster that he was always meant to do the terrible things later on in life.
Although both sides of the argument have valid points. determining whether or not the people I see here today are because of the upbringing or because of your Genes. I believe it is not one or the other it is a mix. The first major psychologist to suggest that we are a mixture of genetics and behaviour was Francis Galton. Although his idea was originally flawed. Over time the theory grew and now most psychologists agree with the fact that it’s not just genetics or behaviour it is a mixture of both.
For example, the MAOA and CDH13 genes that tend to occur with violent offenders in jail. These genes tend to make people born with them more likely to commit violent crimes although the genes do not affect the person unless certain stressing environmental factors push them towards violent crimes. This means that the monster could have been shaped by his sad environment and his genetics to end up having the disastrous murderous results at the end. So altogether we are our genes and our environment all added together to become the variety of humans making up our world.