Genetics Linked to Environment in Frankenstein

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 others, they tend to explore the environment freely and are more socially competent. They also become securely attached adults, who are well rounded. Attachment is a close emotional bond that is biologically based and contributes to an individual personality. Forming attachments is necessary for human growth and development.
Through the observation of life experiences, the creature seeks out companionship. Throughout Frankenstein, the creature tries to understand and develop human relationships. The creature teaches himself language, and even becomes literate in an effort to become accepted by society. The being craves companionship, and desires to be loved. When Safie entered the story, the creature admires the romantic relationship that she shares with Felix, the young man that lives in the cottage. After much
Consideration, the creature decides to approach DeLacey, the blind old man who also lives in the cottage. The old man greets the creature with respect and dignity, because the man can not see the monstrosity before him. The creature tells the man the story of his loneliness in effort to show his inner beauty. The family arrives, at the cottage and reacts harshly to the creature?s presence. As the creature recalls ?Felix darted forward, and with supernatural force tore me from his father, to whose knees I clung: in a transport of fury, he dashed me to the ground, and struck me violently with a stick?(135).The abuse the creature endured caused him to become incresingly violent.Often when a person is abused early in life are more likley to react violently when confronted with a situtitation. Lack of social support also influences a persons behavior.
When the creature?s quest for companionship with the DeLacey family fails, the creature seeks out his creator to make him a companion. The creature states, ? I am alone, and miserable; man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species, and have the same defects. This being you must create?? (144). The creature realizes early on that his deformities prevent any contact with humanity. The creature decides Victor should make him a companion to fulfill his emotional and physical needs. The creature wants a normal relationship but due to his outward appearance, it is almost impossible. The kind of environment the creature experiences is related to his genetic endowment.
Throughout the story society, reactions to the creature are the same in all his travels. After the harsh realization of humankind, the creature seeks revenge on this creator.
Throughout Frankenstein, we see that personal characteristics affect how people are treated by their environment. There is a direct relationship between how people treat an individual and how that individual behaves. The creature became a monster because of the treatment he received by his environment. The creature says, ?I now hasten to the more moving part of my story. I shall relate events, that impressed me with feelings which, from what I had been, have made me what I am.? (116). If people are treated negatively, they will respond negatively. The creature became violent because of the reaction of the environment to his genetics. 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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