Temporary Tunnel Vision

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Temporary tunnel vision can be caused by a variety of catalysts such as high levels of adrenaline, the consumption of alcohol, and a lack of blood in the brain. Despite being a common and relatively harmless phenomenon, tunnel vision is typically associated with two things: birth and death. Some people believe that tunnel vision during death is like traveling through the birth canal before they are reborn into a new life. The complex relationships between birth, life, and death is considered in works by Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, and other authors. In both Poe’s story The Premature Burial and Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the ideas of helplessness after birth as well as the responsibility one has of their own creations are discussed.

Both Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe spend a considerable amount of time discussing the responsibility people have for the life they produce or reproduce. Despite the obvious parallel of the creation of the monster Frankenstein with the restoration of Mr. Stapleton in The Premature Burial, Shelley and Poe differ in their depiction of the creator’s response to the life they conceived. In Shelley’s novel, Victor Frankenstein is repulsed by his creation and therefore leaves it to fend for itself. This ultimately leads the monster to despise mankind and seek to destroy its maker. The experimental student in Poe’s story, however, urgently assisted Mr. Stapleton after he returned from the dead and restored him to health until he could rejoin society.

The contrasting results of the same experiment rear the question of nature versus nurture. Would Frankenstein’s experiment have been as successful as the resuscitation of Mr. Stapleton had Frankenstein cared for the creature rather than rejecting it? Although the two works have different endings, they ultimately draw the same conclusion: nurture is just as important if not more important than nature,

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