The book The Forbidden Experiment by Roger Shattuck describes the fate of a boy, whose life was very different than lives of other children at that time. In 1799, a naked boy was found in southern France. He was scavenging all alone in fields and forests. The boy did not speak and did not understand any French. He was taken away to humans, but several times he managed to escape. One day, the boy got to know the mountain farmers. He started coming to their house for food, disappearing again during a night. In 1800, the boy finally was captured for good. Nobody knew anything about him. Eventually, the boy was transferred to Abbé Sicard.
In Paris, the boy was named Victor. He became an object of immense curiosity, but the public soon lost interest in him. The first team of observers from the Society despaired did not find any progress and concluded that the boy had been born by either an insane or idiot. They simply gave up on him. Later, the boy met Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard, a physician. The teacher took care of the boy and worked with him for over two years. Itard used a combination of physical punishments and food rewards to force Victor to do linguistic exercises. Eventually, Victor learned some basic signs, but, actually, he never learned to speak. Itard had to give up in 1806. From that time till his death in 1828, Victor lived with a guardian, Mme. Guerin. Itard remained prominent throughout Victor’s life and was later remembered as a pioneering psychotherapist, scientist, and teacher of disabled children.
In The Forbidden Experiment, the author examines the relationships that developed among the main character; Madame Guerin, the woman who washed and fed him, as well as Itard, the tutor who believed Victor was hopelessly retarded. With his book, Shattuck helped modern readers ask many questions related to guidance counselors, special education teachers, and all students of human behavior. What does help children learn how to speak? How do mute and deaf children learn? Can children who have been abused or neglected learn to trust others?
The life story of Victor in the book The Forbidden Experiment by Roger Shattuck clearly shows that the society was poorly prepared to working with “wild children.” The example of the kid also demonstrates how isolation may affect children’s future life. The socialization is an important aspect for any kid to be able to live a normal life and communicate with other people.
The book The Forbidden Experiment by Roger Shattuck describes the fate of a boy, whose life was very different than lives of other children at that time. In 1799, a naked boy was found in southern France. He was scavenging all alone in fields and forests. The boy did not speak and did not understand any French. He was taken away to humans, but several times he managed to escape.