Humans are not born innately good or evil; they are born without knowledge of good or evil but with an innate need for survival. If you look at babies, they are innately very selfish, that is their nature. They have survival instincts, and all they care about is getting as much food as they can so they can survive. But does that make them evil? No. Most kids grow to be innately good adults, and it’s a small minority who grow into being “evil” adults. I would argue that it is most likely something that happens in a child’s development that causes them to be “evil” and that no one is born “evil. Humans are born blank slates but with an innate need for survival.
In the short story “The Metaphor” by Budge Wilson Miss Hancock and Charlotte were shaped by society. Miss Hancock was overenthusiastic and flamboyant natured teacher who was loved by her class. She is an innately good adult. She was shaped by society to be a good and fun loving person. Charlotte was in Miss Hancock’s class, and she was a bright student who was not afraid to express her opinion because of the friendly environment her class had.
Charlotte also had a mother who you could say is innately evil. Charlotte could have been an evil person too if it was not for Miss Hancock who influenced Charlotte to become good. This shows us that’s humans are born as blank slates and it is their surroundings that shape them into becoming who they are. Charlotte is a prime example of this. Charlotte was born as a blank slate and could have become good or evil. In conclusion this shows that humans can be influenced to become good or evil.
In the short story “The Portable Phonograph” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark Dr. Jenkins is shaped by the world war that has destroyed much of the earth’s habitat and killed many people. Dr. Jenkins feels the need to protect everything he has because they are the last of their kind in this world. Throughout the story the musician seemed very intrigued by the phonograph. Dr. Jenkins believed that the musician would try to steal the phonograph and Dr. Jenkins then becomes a defensive man. When all the men leave Dr. Jenkins hears a coughing sound outside his house. “He heard what he had been listening for, a sound of suppressed coughing. ” This causes Dr.
Jenkins to hide the phonograph and sleep with a lead pipe in his bed to protect himself and the phonograph. Dr. Jenkins changes from a kind, generous man who is trying to spread hope, to a defensive man, who is relying on one of his most primitive instincts; protectiveness. Dr. Jenkins was born as a blank slate, as all humans are, and likely being raised in a good environment during his childhood made him an innately good adult. Then after the war he changed into a defensive man. He was not necessarily evil as he did not want to hurt the musician but only wanted to protect his belongings.
This story showed us that there are many things that can change you; however your main characteristics that you develop through your childhood stand out the most. From being born as a neutral human your childhood is where you become good or evil. In the short story the “Possibility of evil” by Shirley Jackson Miss Strangeworth was born a blank slate, but to keep evil out of her town she was forced to become “evil”. It was her surroundings that changed her from being neutral or being good to becoming “evil.
She had to write poison pen letters to warn people and these letters sometimes ended up hurting people. From our point of view she was evil but from Miss Strangeworth’s point of view she was good. She was trying to get rid of evil in her town and trying to help others. “Mr. Lewis would have never imagined for a minute that his grandson might be lifting petty cash from the store register if he had not had one of Miss Strangeworth’s letters. ” Miss Strangeworth was not innately evil or innately good she was neutral until her surroundings made her evil. She was a product of her surroundings.