Victor, the Wild Boy from Aveyron

Topics: Victor of Aveyron, Nature versus nurture, Jean-Jacques Rousseau Pages: 2 (578 words) Published: November 8, 2007
Victor, the Wild Boy from Aveyron

"Come on, poor babe: Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens To be thy nurses! Wolves and bears, they say, Casting their savageness aside, have done Like offices of pity."

Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, Act II, scene 3, line 185

Interests in Feral children began as early as the 1700's and has continued to fascinate people throughout our modern era. Most reported cases on record, involve young children who have been isolated (or locked up) for an extended period of time. Often times the child is deprived of human care, normal socialization and in most cases sensory deprivation. In all circumstances of this type of neglect and abuse, the impact on the child is life-long, and often completely uncorrectable. Not all discovered cases of feral children involve dysfunctional parenting though. In the case of Victor, the wild boy from Aveyron, you'll find a much different cause of dysfunction. Roaming through the woods of Lacaune in Southern France at the end of the 18th century, Victor, an autistic boy who'd been abandoned by his father at the age of six, had been sighted on many occasions by villagers. Never communicating with words, this young adolescent was completely uninterested in people and seemed to be surviving just fine with his animal counterparts. Some of the village people, who had spotted Victor, eventually wanted to get a closer view of the child and devised a trap to capture him. Succeeding, they found that like other feral children, Victor didn't appreciate close contact with his native brothers and sisters. In fact, he disliked it so much, that at first opportunity, he escaped and disappeared back into the woods. It is said that no one saw or heard Victor for an entire year after his initial capture. Then after many more sightings, another trap was set and he was obtained again, only this time by peasants who took him into the town square and placed him on display for all to see. After Victor...
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