Defending Jacob Themes & Motifs

William Landay
This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Defending Jacob.
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Nature or Nurture

The question of whether nature, the genes, and DNA makeup a child is born with, or nurture, the way they are brought up, is more important in the way that a child turns out. Laurie argues to the mothers gathered at their children’s school in the beginning of the novel that she doesn’t think it matters much what they do, children are already hard wired to be what they will be. This idea is the basis of the murder gene. Psychologists believe that if a person has this gene, it automatically predisposes them to a violent nature regardless of the kind of environment in which a child is raised. On the flip side of this coin, however, is Barber. Although he has at least three generations before him that have fallen prey to their genetic makeup, Barber has not done so. When...

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This section contains 903 words
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Buy the Defending Jacob Study Guide
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