At 2016 Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama stated, “With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models”. Parents have the most immense impact on their children than anyone else. They are the ones who teach us not only to walk or speak but also to behave in each specific situation, which includes choosing our future partner as well.
This feature appears in many literary masterpieces, either in many plays by Shakespeare or in ingenious novels by Charles Dickens. I have decided to refer to the differences between the parental attitudes towards their children in one of the most famous William Shakespeare’s plays “Hamlet” and also in Charles Dicken’s novel “Hard Times”.One of the model situations that supports my opinion is a remarkable connection between the main character Hamlet and his lover Ophelia, in comparison to a relationship with her father Polonius. Ophelia has a very strong link with Polonius and just blindly looks up to her creator as if it was God for her (Shakespear 49). Polonius is a very strict father who cannot stand any talk-backs. He is convinced that his methods of upbringing children are the most effective ones.
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In high probability, he would never tolerate disobedience which makes from Ophelia one of the model daughters, who would everyone long for having. On the other hand, she remains in such obedience while not even noticing that she is destroying her own life. The best example is the third scene of the play.
Polonius finds out about her involvement with Hamlet and immediately tells Ophelia off and forbids her to keep the relationship anymore. “This is for all: I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth, have you so slander any moment leisure, as to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. Look to’t, I charge you: come your ways” (27-29).Compared to her true dedication to Hamlet, who does not treat her any better than her father (81-83), it is noteworthy mentioning that she belongs to the people who reflect parent’s behaviour in their own one. This situation has described Thomas Suddendorf, Janine Oostenbroek, Mark Nielsen and Virginia Slaughter in their psychological study. They suggest that it starts already in our prenatal age and is best seen by infants.
Infants observe their parents and imitate them as well as they can. The cause of this manners is based on mirror neurons. These neurons literally persuade us to do something we see in the very same way. It is highly possible that because of these neurons some people remain in the state of imitating for good (Suddendorf 53).
This could be the reason why Ophelia searches her future partner as if she was looking for her own father.Another example, which proves my finding, is a behaviour of one of the main characters in Dicken’s novel “Hard Times”. Louisa, the youngest child of Thomas Gradgrind, has been brought up very coldheartedly (Dickens 12).
In this case, the young girl has not lost her mother, as probably Ophelia did, but is still missing an affectionate and kind one. Although Louisa is the most sensible child from the Gradgrind’s family, she easily cannot resist this strong bounding which she has with her father. He behaves towards her with a great deal of superiority as if she was his property, however, she still remains devoted to him.On the grounds of being brought up without any sign of love, Louisa feels really disconnected from her emotions and finds it very hard to give any indication of joy. In order to please her father, she marries his old friend Mr. Bounderby (116-118) who does not show any further regards for the little girl’s feelings than her father. As good friends, both Mr. Gradgrind and Mr.
Bounderby share the same values, therefore it would have the same effect if Louisa married her father instead of him, since either of them is expressing the same emotions to her. On the account of both exemplary relationships, it may seem that the girls tend to attract same attention from potential future partners as they were given from their fathers. Nevertheless, this attribute can be noticed by the male descendants too.According to Hamlet’s point of view, his declarations of affection towards Ophelia can be seen as simply expressing his long-hidden feelings to somebody similar to his mother. Hamlet felt betrayed by Gertrude due to the fact that she got married to her deceased husband’s brother. Despite loving his mother more than anything else, he had a difficulty in forgiving her (Shakespear 111). Owing to his losing trust in her, he started looking for someplace to hide.
Exactly this place did he find at Ophelia. Hamlet feels that he can put his heart into her hands and in plain, he finally finds his mother in her. Although he does not entrust his feeling to Gertrude and even sometimes treats her very nastily (109), the mother still sees the best in him and would never say anything to blemish his reputation (120). Despite the fact that he does not confide in her as much as he used to, he constantly expects her to cover him. This makes from Hamlet an ordinary mama’s boy. It is well known that mothers sometimes have a tendency to act overprotectively when it concerns their beloved sons. But what is it that prods mothers into feeling stronger connection to sons than to daughters?An association of authors including a sociobiologist and anthropologist C.
Kraus propounded a theory explaining this problem: “It may be an effect of higher demands by male than female offspring. In addition, this may be compounded by the effect that mothers in good condition should overproduce sons if that sex benefits more from their increased ability to invest in maternal care” (Kraus 893). This might have led to the result that mothers seem to defend their male descendants far more than the female ones, even though it is thought that males represent the stronger sex. In connection with Hamlet, Ophelia reminds him of his mother because she also seems to be extremely caring and protective in every situation, which puts him in a very advantageous position.
In Ophelia’s case, it gets even worse because she forms an immensely strong attachment to him that when he leaves for England, she completely loses her mind (Shakespear 131).The fact that children are addicted to their parents so much, especially sons to mothers and daughters to fathers and vice versa, is not just a literate fiction. It is based on actual genetic principles. Corresponding to a biology textbook “Biologie pro gymnázia” or translated into English “Biology for Gymnasia” by Jan Jelínek and Vladimír Zichá?ek, our genes are a combination of our parent’s genes and not just somehow randomly.
The combinations are made by exceptionally strict regulations. These are called Mendel’s laws of heredity by a classical genetics Johann Gregor Mendel, who discovered that heredity is passing on of genetic traits from one generation to another (298).A human body is made of hundreds of cells. Every cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes, which are specific units containing molecules of DNA, macromolecular substances carrying genetic information (303). Gene is a section of DNA in a specific location on a chromosome, that contains information determining a trait. There is one gene that regulates a piece of information and that gen is located at the very same spot on each person’s chromosome.
However, there are two versions of these genes hidden in two different parts known as alleles. Mendel determined that these two alleles can be either dominant or recessive. On the basis of this discovery, alleles decide whether the specific trait will be at least partly expressed or not (298).Almost in each cell in the human organism, there are 22 pairs of chromosomes called non-sex chromosomes and then there is the 23rd pair, the sex chromosome. On that spot, women have two full chromosomes XX and by contrast, men have one chromosome X and one Y, which is the reason why we do give birth to boys as well. Certain genetic traits are linked to person’s sex and are passed on through the sex chromosomes. The recessive allele from the mother genotype, a complex of all alleles which a concrete individual has in his cells available, can be passed on into the son’s genotype in which it is completely expressed since there is not any information on the chromosome Y to provide a possible domain allele. Contrarily the dominant allele from the father totally suppresses the expression of the recessive allele and becomes evident in the daughter’s phenotype, a complex of all noticeable features (308-309).
To sum up, some hereditary traits are expressed from mother to son and from father to daughter which clarifies the reciprocal addiction.In conclusion, it is proved that the impact of our upbringing will keep up with us the whole life. We can try as hard as we can, but we won’t be able to escape the influence our parents had on our childhood. It is obvious that sometimes the boundaries might be stronger than usual, nonetheless, it depends just on us whether we are going to make a use of it.