Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature

By Douglas Keith Candland | Go to book overview

1
Nature and Nurture: Children Without Human Parenting

ON A SUMMER day, at the time when hay was being harvested near the now German town of Hameln, Jürgen Meyer, who had been working the fields, met "a naked, brownish, black-haired creature, who was running up and down, and was about the size of a boy of twelve years old. It uttered no human sound, but was happily enticed [into the town] by its astonished discoverer showing it two apples in his hand, and entrapped within the Bridge-gate. There it was at first received by a mob of street boys, but was very soon afterwards placed for safe custody in the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, by order of the Burgomaster [Mayor] Severin." 1

The year was 1724.

Peter, the name given by the street gangs to the boy, showed few signs of socialization or civility. When made comfortable in the hospital (more of a youth hostel, it would seem, than a place for the ill), he tried to leave in any way possible, sometimes by door and sometimes by window. Always alert and suspicious, he sat on his haunches or waited on all-fours, as would a four-footed animal. Seemingly unused to beds, he rolled back and forth on the straw pallet provided. He did not care for cooked foods but readily ate raw vegetables and grass. He captured birds, dismembered them, and ate the pieces. He showed approval of foodstuffs by beating his chest with his fists. When fitted with shoes, he learned to wear them but preferred not to do so. He liked having a cap put on his head and enjoyed tossing it in the water to see it "swim." He did not enjoy wearing clothes but learned to do so. His senses of hearing and smell were said to be sharp. He appeared to enjoy music.

Some thought Peter to be a true feral 2 man, a human being raised not by other human beings but by the natural state provided by the wild. 3 He was surely capable of learning, for he had learned from his experiences how to deal with the natural environment of the forest. Yet he was untouched by human contact, human demands, and human forms of socialization (Figure 1.1).

Peter's stay in the hospital was brief. We have available a contempo-

-9-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Feral Children and Clever Animals: Reflections on Human Nature
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 414

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.