Study Guide

The Gene - The Walled Garden (Part One) Summary & Analysis

Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Summary

In October 1843, a young man named Gregor Johann Mendel (né Johann Mendel) joins a monastery in Brno. Unskilled as a priest, Mendel sits formal examinations in order to become a teacher but performs abysmally in the natural sciences. In order to become qualified to teach, Medel enrolls at the University of Vienna to pursue a degree in the natural sciences. There he experienced an "intellectual baptism," studying physics under Christian Doppler (19). At the time, Doppler was working to prove that sounds and light "behaved according to universal and natural laws" (20). Contrastingly, biology, which was Mendel's main subject, seemed at the time to be lacking in organizing principles. Though the system of taxonomy was established to categorize living species, there was no understanding of why living things were organized as such. As Mukherjee writes, "What maintained its constancy or fidelity: What...

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This section contains 919 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Gene Study Guide
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