All The Light We Cannot See Essay

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Both sides of the nature versus nurture debate hold merit and have compelling arguments to answer the psychological question of whether behavior stems from inborn characteristics or learned practices - whether genes or surroundings are the root of human action and integrity. For Werner Pfennig of Anthony Doerr’s 2014 novel, All The Light We Cannot See, it is clear that the environments he lives in throughout his life influence his mannerisms and comportment. Werner is an excellent example of how the characteristics of external situations can impact morality - how nurture prevails over nature. The culture of the environments people find themselves in often unconsciously impact their virtues, and not always for the better.
Growing up as orphans
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The atmosphere was intense, and soon Werner’s mindset began to shift towards pitting himself against others to ensure that he fit the demand for “only the purest, only the strongest” (116). At Schulpforta he fell into the trap of mind control that the Nazi leaders wanted for the recruits and his state of mind was as manipulated as the culture of the environment found himself in. His voice had been stifled and his moral compass had been jostled by the drive to be approved of by the sergeants. He was silent when his friend was brutally beaten, turning a blind eye to the injustice and cruelty that he knew was fundamentally wrong for the sake of self preservation. This demonstration of the change in Werner’s morality as precipitated by his involvement in the military academy contributed to the theme of how manipulative and oppressive the entire purpose of the Nazi party was. By showing how one character was influenced by the culture of his surroundings, the author represented how the belief system of the Nazi party was so widely spread and

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