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Tulip Was Born Evil Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 31 October 2017

Tulip Was Born Evil

This essay will explore the statement above to see how far it can be seen as true. One way of interpreting it is to consider the way in which Tulip may or may not be regarded as evil, in terms of nature versus nurture. In other words, the way Tulip has been brought up to behave, can be compared to the fact that she may have just been born evil. In the novel, there are two distinct points of view; those who consider Tulip to have been born with genes of evil, and those who have a greater amount of sympathy towards her and consider that her upbringing is to blame for her malevolent actions. In addition, it could be argued that the reason Tulip conducts herself in such a way is not for one reason alone, rather; it could be a combination of evil genes, nature; and home life, nurture.

In the Tulip Touch, Anne Fine portrays Natalie’s mother as a character who believes that Tulip is a child clever enough to think for herself and realise the difference between right and wrong. This can been seen when she argues: “Because she’s bright enough to see that if enough people go around doing exactly what they want, everyone’s miserable.”

In other words, unlike some people who behave in an evil way as a result of their stupidity, or some who have violent tempers, Tulip has the intelligence to make her own judgements based on all her surroundings. Although her home life may be grim, she should not be prevented from defining right from wrong; there are people who act in the right way, and Tulip could follow in their footsteps. Life outside of her home should depict the way in which people are supposed to behave; Tulip is able to see this yet she does not behave appropriately. This, as a result suggests that Tulip was born evil; even though the girl knows how she is meant to act from experiencing the moral behaviour of the characters at the Palace, she does not choose to amend her behaviour.

In addition to this, throughout the novel Tulip is cruel and spiteful to others for her own amusement; she devises twisted and unpleasant games which are inevitably hurtful. An example of this behaviour that implies Tulip was born evil, is when she and Natalie abandon Natalie’s younger brother, Julius, in the woods: “The game used to drive him wild with fear and rage.”

Therefore, Tulip deliberately attempts to cause other people despair and distress, and does seem to realise that what she is doing is upsetting and malicious. It should be clear from Julius’ reaction to their game that what Tulip has done is not the correct way to behave, yet she carries on doing it despite her knowledge of his feelings. As a result, this could suggest that Tulip has evil genes, as anyone else, after realising that they had upset someone, would stop immediately and never act in such a way again. Instead, Tulip’s games become increasingly worse during the book, providing evidence that she must have been evil from the beginning.

Moreover, Anne Fine indicates that Tulip has no feelings for anyone else; that she does not care how others around her are feeling. This is apparent when Natalie is being driven away in the car after injuring herself wading over to the stone boy in the lily pond: “But I can still see both their faces. Tulip’s? Well, ugly and uncaring, certainly.” In other words, Tulip has no sympathy for her friend when she knows that Natalie has been hurt. Tulip should be concerned and care about Natalie, yet she behaves in a way no-one else would do towards someone after being injured. It is quite clear that Tulip desires attention only for herself, and she cannot bear the fact that people are focusing on another person, and not her. The girl is only concerned if she is involved, yet when she is not the centre of attention, she behaves in an unacceptable way; an evil way.

On the other hand, the way in which Tulip behaves towards other people may be due to how she has been treated herself at home. Anne Fine represents Natalie’s father as a character who believes that Tulip does not appear to understand the difference between right and wrong as a result of this: “To really know right from wrong you need a certain emotional sympathy. And you only learn that from being treated properly yourself.” In other words, the way Tulip has had such a rotten start in life, has not enabled her to see whether her actions are right or wrong, or realise that she is not meant to behave in the way she does. Tulip only copies behaviour which she has witnessed at home, or behaviour which she has experienced herself. Therefore, her parents have brought her up to become like them; they have nurtured her to act in the ‘evil’ way they act.

Furthermore, as Tulip is a victim of abuse at home, it could be argued that she takes out all her pain and despair on other people. This is evident when Natalie attempts to persuade the police not to visit the Pierces’ house: “He’ll thrash her like a red-headed stepchild! He’ll whip her till her freckles sing!”

Consequently, Tulip has an exceedingly miserable home life; her sadness caused by this has become repressed; turned into anger. She has no outlet for her anger as she is not allowed to behave in the same way as other children at home, and therefore the anger builds up inside her up to the point at which she explodes. This is when her behaviour may be considered as evil, however; since from an early stage in her life Tulip has experienced much pain and sorrow, her anger has become increasingly worse and she has taken it out on all the other people around her. Tulip’s parents, as a result, have caused their daughter to behave so appallingly.

In addition, it can be argued that babies are born helpless; they have no sense of right and wrong. This can be seen when Natalie’s father states that: “There’s no such thing as evil.” In other words, people are born devoid of emotions and characteristics. Everyday changes can shape someone’s life, and although Tulip’s actions and personality is caused partly by herself, other people have contributed to her character. Natalie’s father clearly does not believe that there is such thing as ‘evil’, rather; people can behave in an evil way due to how others have influenced them. This is arguably the case with Tulip; her behaviour is only caused as a result of her poor upbringing; it is her parents’ fault that she acts in such a malicious, evil way. From the beginning, they have nurtured her to become the way she is now.

In conclusion, I consider that it is, in fact, nurture which causes Tulip’s behaviour to be regarded as evil. I therefore disagree with the statement. A flower is very delicate, and must be handled with care: in order for the flower to thrive, it must be nurtured and loved; if it does not obtain what it needs, then it will die. I believe this to be a similar case with anyone once they have been born. I also believe this to be the case with Tulip. She is neglected at home and has never been given a chance to have any success, any happiness.

I consider that she only behaves in such a way because her woe caused by her wretched home life has become repressed; turned into anger. She takes out all her anger on other people, and she copies the behaviour which she’s had done to herself. The twisted games she devises are based on the experiences she has had at home. She sees no point in trying to find the truth when everything she does at home is wrong. Therefore, if Tulip were a real flower, her petals would be shrivelled and brown; they were never given the opportunity to bloom.

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