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Human nature & experience


Melissa writes:

My English teacher asked us this morning to write a thesis that has something to do with human nature and experience. She said that statement had to be true, and would have to be able to be proved by any book, in our case, "David Copperfield", which we just finished finished reading as a part of our summer reading program. Could anyone help? I don't really understand the assignment even! Thanks! 

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It seems that your teacher wants you to assert something like, e.g. "man is free", and then support it using arguments from David Copperfield. She doesn't that much want Dickens' view on some human-experience-subject, as she wants your views - but based on the book. Besides this, your essay shouldn't be about one or more characters or situations but about what all of them or some of them reveal about human nature in general. There is, at least in the way you describe us your assignment, a confusion between nature and experience. Experience is personal, nature belongs to all. You can take advantage of this confusion to focus whether at (personal) experience, or at (human) nature, or at both. 

It would be better for you to think first of some kind of feeling or idea about human nature or experience that David Copperfield caused you - let's say that you feel man's goodness when you think of David Copperfield. Is this something that characterises human nature? Where is Uriah Heep's goodness, for example. Therefore, you can't prove from David Copperfield that human nature as such is good. However, you can prove that it is, as such, neither evil nor good, that good or evil depends to the persons. How a person becomes this or that? Is it something given or a matter of choice, or what? Is there any evidence in David Copperfield? 

I hope that helps a little.
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