Nature vs. Nurture

Essay by creative1984College, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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In 1889 a perfectly normal and healthy child nicknamed Adi was brought into this world under unusual circumstances. Adi was given a negative outlook on life from a very young age. He was born from his father's third wife Klara, who was twenty-three years younger than her husband. Growing up Adi experienced sexual abuse from his father. On top of that, five of his six siblings died in their infancy, and both of his parents died before he reached age fourteen. As a result, the remainder of his childhood was spent in an orphanage. The lack of a positive mother and father figure deprived him of a chance to learn the values of right and wrong, love and compassion. These moral indeficiencies started Adi along the path of eventual disaster. Adi arouse from his troubled childhood to be known to the rest of the world as Adolf Hitler (Adolf Hitler).

This is a classic example of nurture being the overwhelming factor in the progression of human characteristics. Another example of this can be seen in the theme of nurture over nature in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. In this story the monster is abandoned by his creator and eventually becomes a murderer because he did not receive a proper upbringing. The father figure, Victor Frankenstein, did not embrace his creation and chose instead to neglect nurture which turned the monster into a murderer.

The nature verses nurture debate has been formally tested and documented for many centuries, but no doubt has been a topic of discussion since the beginning of man. Nature refers to the idea that genetic material controls one's appearance, temperaments, and abilities and nurture is the sum of environmental influences and conditions acting on an organism. Simply put, do humans act the way they do because of their genetic...