Art Spiegelman's Nature vs. Nurture

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  • Topic: Comic strip, Comics, Cartoon
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  • Published : December 18, 2006
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Nature vs. Nurture by Art Spiegelman

I enjoy the work of Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman uses the playful medium of comic books in order to communicate his thoughts and feeling on more serious topics. He is the only person to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for a comic book.

In Nature vs. Nurture Spiegelman explores the issue of gender and how much influence a parent has, (nurture), over what is innate with a child. In this entry I will describe this comic strip and give my opinion of what Spiegelman's thoughts are on the subject of nature vs. nurture.

The comic strip features an academic looking father and his three or four-year-old daughter. The strip begins with the father watching his daughter play with her doll. The girl's speech bubble says, "Poor baby sleepy? Okay…mama gonna sing you a lullabye!" The father responds with, "C,mon, Nadja. You don't just want to play with toys that reinforce preconceived gender roles, do you, sweetie?" After his little speech he brings his daughter a toy fire engine to play with. In order to get little Nadja fired up about the new toy the father gets down on the floor and shows her how everything works. He clangs the bell and orders passersby out of the way. The father is having a very good time playing with the toy but finally turns it over to his daughter. After looking at the fire truck for just a moment Nadja's speech bubble says, "Poor little truckie!...Mama's gonna wrap you inna blankee and give you a little bottle." The poor father heaves a sigh and looks thoroughly beaten.

In this comic strip, I think Spiegelman is pointing out that we are who we are. I believe Spiegelman is arguing nature over nurture. In this particular strip he has an educated father trying to get his daughter to play with a truck. I find this interesting for two reasons. First, he is showing that the father has an active interest in not wanting his daughter to be limited to "girl things." This is interesting because...
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