Nature trumps Nurture
Nature verses Nurture has always been a huge topic among phycology and sociology for at least the last 20 years. Lionel Shiver’s novel We Need to Talk About Kevin is a perfect example of how nature verse nurture can play into the psychological development as we age. “A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, and failure to learn from experiences.” The way that Kevin acts during this novel is the exact same as the definition. He shows absolutely no remorse to the murders he committed, and to his mother throughout the entire novel, and as well in the way that he planned everything out and the way he went about everything.
Kevin as a baby is nothing what a first-time mother would expect. Even if a woman has never taken care of a baby before, they still have motherly instincts and they know when something isn’t right when it comes to their children. As a baby he was always crying, resisting to learn how to toilet train, and intentionally undermining Eva’s attempts at nurturing him. “From the standpoint of cognitive development, he was way too smart, and way too abstract in his thinking at a very young age.” (Stern, Marlow) The way that Kevin is treated when he was a child plays a big part into what happened on Thursday. He was never truly loved by his mom and felt her emotions didn’t mean anything. She never wanted him. As children we feel when our mothers have something wrong with them and we thrive off of their emotions when we are babies and toddlers. Something was clearly wrong with Kevin’s demeanor as a child that Eva obviously chose to ignore because she was too focused on her son acting out and trying to please her husband. They lacked a special bond between the two of them that would have Kevin’s emotions go from horrible to hopefully better.
As Kevin grows he becomes even less empathetic of the people around him emotions, he just simply doesn’t care, epically when it comes to his mother Eva. He seeks his own pleasure at the expense of others. He destroys Eva’s maps in her office but throwing paint all over them, knowing how much they meant to her. His body language and smirk shows that he knows they it would cause her pain but he is only interested in how it makes him feel. Later on in the novel as his warped sense of self pleasure continues to increase, Eva walks in on him masturbating and he does not stop. This again shows that he only cares for himself. Eva is clearly shocked and uncomfortable but he continues to carry out despite the way she is feeling. His behavior reflects that of a psychopath. “Psychopaths such as Kevin have zero degrees of affective empathy but have excellent cognitive empathy.” (Baron-Cohen, Simon) The way that Kevin feels towards his mother plays a huge part into his actions...