Monday, October 12, 2009

“Barefoot Burglar:” Feral Child


Thriving in the woods of the islands north of Seattle and eluding the police for over a year and a half in the trees, an eighteen year-old fugitive named Colton Harris-Moore (otherwise known as the “Barefoot Burglar”) is and has been on the loose, supposedly the culprit for robbing people’s homes, stealing boats, and even going as far as stealing small airplanes and crashing them. This teen is just one of the children who either have lived by themselves from a young age or shared company with animals in the vast outdoors. When Colton is referred to as a ‘Feral Child,’ feral is referring to the term ‘wild.’ There are over 4,000 situations of feral humans, even though only eight of these cases have proper documentation; but these situations are closely related to some myths and stories, such as Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli from The Jungle Book, or Remus and Romulus, founders of Rome, and suckled by a she-wolf. These humans cannot speak human languages as well or at all, based on the fact they have not had someone to teach them how. Some of the most famous feral children are Peter, Victor, Kaspar, Kamala and Amala. They were all found, but all had unfortunate ends; Peter was forgotten, Victor was found, but learnt little before death, Kaspar was murdered after being found in a pit, and the two girls Kamala and Amala both died, Amala a year after being found and Kamala eight years after that. The only question remaining is, how will Colton’s story play out?
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/10/09/feral-children.html

Logan M.
Period 3

3 comments:

Yasmine said...

This is a really interesting topic. I watched a tv special on feral children one time and there was one girl who lived in a dog house from a young age because her parents were alcoholics and she picked up all the behavior of dogs. One scientist did an experiment to see if chimps could pick up human characteristics by having a monkey hang out with his young son, but it backfired because his son started picking up chimplike behaviors. Just goes to show how impressionable we are at a young age.

Yasmine said...

This is a really interesting topic. Once I watched a tv special on feral children and there was this one girl who live in a dog house from a young age because her parents were alcoholics. She picked up alot of doglike behavior. One scientist did an experiment to see if chimps would pick up human behavior by having an ape hang out with his young son. It kind of backfired because his son started making chimplike barking noises. Just goes to show how impressionable we are at a young age.

YBouzid

Jeffrey Seyfried said...

I agree, it will be interesting to see how his story plays out. I wonder what it would be like to grow up without language. Would he still be able to learn language? Does he think differently or not as advanced-ly because of it? I hope further research will shed some light on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (that "cultural concepts and categories" from in different languages affect the "cognitive classification" so that speakers of different languages think and behave differently [Wikipedia]).
P.S. I have always wanted to learn a constructed language to see if it can effect how I think. It annoys me that I can't have a thought without it being in English...