You may be familiar with the nature vs nurture debate. The theory suggests that a person's character is dependent on their experiences (nurture) or it's something internal - they were born that way (nature). There is evidence that supports both sides, but there is also evidence that disproves the theory.
I'm focusing on the nurture side of things - that a person becomes who they are due to their background, and that behaviour is learned. This means that criminals become the way they are because something bad happened to them. But these six epic characters blow the nurture theory out of the water!
1). Harry Potter
Harry never knew his parents - they were murdered in front of him when he was just a boy. For years Voldermort tried to kill Harry too. He lost a lot of people such as his godfather Sirius, and on top of all that he had to live with the cruel Dursleys. Harry was bullied all his life by authority figures, such as his Aunt and Uncle, Professor Umbridge and Lucius Malfoy, and every year he risked his life and witnessed death - that's enough to make a grown man crumble! Harry has put up with so much since he was born - yet he turned out to be a brave man with a good heart. He continued to fight the Dark Lord for years as a boy in order to protect his friends. This doesn't sound like a criminal to me! I'm glad that he disproves the nurture theory.
2). Katniss Everdeen
Katniss comes from a working class background filled with struggle. She ended up fighting to the death in the Hunger Games TWICE and like Harry, she has suffered losses too. But despite all that, we all know that the Girl on Fire hasn't got an evil bone in her body, and her story is inspirational - she's epic! (And I wish I had a dress like that!)
3). The children from IT
These children had to suffer the horrors of Pennywise the clown, a.k.a IT. He was so terrifying that the children were even petrified as adults when they're forced to return to Derry. These poor children went through a lot, especially Bill and Beverly. Beverly was beaten by her father growing up as well as being haunted by IT, and Bill lost his little brother Georgie. Yet these children were heroic, and as adults they returned to Derry to put an end to the terrifying Pennywise. I don't know if I could have gone back after everything that had happened! These seven children are extraordinary.
4). Liesel Meminger
The Book Thief is one of my favourite films, and it's my favourite book. Liesel suffered a lot in her childhood. Growing up in a war is traumatic enough, but on the train journey to her foster parents where she would leave her mother, her little brother died. Like Katniss and Harry, Liesel lost loved ones too, as is expected with war. Liesel was also a thief; she stole books she couldn't read and she broke into the Mayor's home. Often criminals start with petty crimes such as theft and work their way up - but Liesel has always been a good and sweet girl. Maybe it helped that she had the best foster parents, and the loveable Rudy and Max to keep her company.
5). Hermione Granger
Another Harry Potter character - Hermione Granger. She had to do one of the hardest things ever - leave her parents and erase their memory of her. And in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Hermione is tortured by the twisted Bellatrix Lastrange. She has been through hell, but Hermione has remained the good-hearted and clever witch we love, who continues to boss Harry and Ron about. She willingly risked her life several times with Harry and Ron and is always adamant on doing to the right thing, and I think her upbringing and loving parents has helped her to remain as the loveable character we know today. I don't think anything could turn Hermione into someone evil.
Poor Bruce. When he was a young boy he witnessed the murder or his parents, and his butler became his guardian. But instead of putting his anger into evil pursuits, a traumatised Bruce Wayne became a man who fought crime in Gotham, and wanted to avenge his parents. He became Batman. Now that's epic.
All of these characters are inspirational, and they teach us something important: don't let your circumstances or your upbringing dictate what you want to do or who you want to be. Don't let the bad destroy the good in you. Just because you suffered or were surrounded by bad people as a child, this doesn't mean you have to become someone like that too. You can be anything you want to be. These characters are perfect examples that show us we can defy the odds and do something wonderful. The IT guys saved other children from being hurt by Pennywise, despite what they'd been through; Batman fought crime and protected Gotham after his traumatic childhood; Harry had lost so much but has always remained brave and kind and has tried to do the right thing by his loved ones - need I go on? Defy the nurture theory and be epic!
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