What Determines a Person's Personality?
What is the cause for someone to act in a certain way? Are they born to be cruel or to be generous? The environment can determine ones personality. Similar to The Half Husky written by Margaret Laurence, Harvey Shinwell lived with an obnoxious aunt while Vanessa lives in a loving family; with a grandpa, a brother, and a loving mother. Could you tell how Harvey's and Vanessa's personality could differ from this?
Harvey Shinwell is a boy of much anger, due to the fact of his abusive aunt. She would slap him on the face with an "explosive quickness" but he would never respond spontaneously, in fact "he bore it, that she had hit him like that." (Page 156) Because of this, the anger builds up inside of him trying to find a way to let it out. When Nanuk was given to Vanessa, Harvey would "lit a whole bunch of matches...and put it on Nanuk's head" (page 154), jab a stick into Nanuk's face, and fired stones at Nanuk and hit him on the throat. Every time Harvey tortures Nanuk it would drive him wild, and because of all the tormenting Nanuk soon becomes repulsive. The only way for Harvey to express his anger was to do what his aunt does, to Nanuk. He feels that he shouldn't be the only one receiving these tortures, and seeing Nanuk suffer like him would make him feel much better.
In comparison, Vanessa comes from a solid family (brick house) while Harvey was raised in a disrupted childhood. For Harvey to live in a disastrous community can determines how he would act. Margaret Laurence uses the metaphor of the North End of Manawaka imply on Harvey's environmental factors. "The North End of Manawaka was full of shacks and shanties, unpainted boards, roofs with half the shingles missing, windows with limp hole-spattered lace curtains or else no curtains at all....The cement sidewalks were broken, great chunks heaved up by frost and never repaired, for the Town Council did now pay much attention to this part of town" (page...
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