“Subhuman conditions produce subhumans.” Richard Wright’s theme in Native Son says that if you grow up in a family or city that does not have a lot of success, you won’t be successful yourself. It relates to naturalism in a direct way. Naturalism says that your fate depends on your environment and your heredity. I do not believe this theory. There are many others who also don’t believe this theory. One person that disproves this theory is Ben Wallace.
Growing up in Benton, Alabama, one of the smallest towns in the country was hard on Ben and his ten siblings. Having a single parent was even harder. Ben’s mother, Mama Sadie, was having a hard time coming up with food and a decent shelter for her family. She grew cotton in a small patch in the yard and also grew crops that would help feed the family. Because of the lack of money they had, Mama had to make clothes for the family. She was a hard worker that never gave up.
Because of all the hard work their mother went through, Ben and his brothers tried to help out by working around their area. They helped nearby farmers complete chores on the farm to make some extra cash and help out the family. As he grew older, he learned that he had a new talent. Ben began to cut hair. His reputation grew and soon he started to cut the neighborhood kids’ hair for $3 each. He learned what it felt like to earn what you worked for.
Ben Wallace worked hard at everything he did. In high school, he was All-State in baseball, football, basketball and track. Lots of things made Ben the person he was but most likely it was all the hard work he put into every thing he did. Though he did most of the work, people like Charles Oakley, former player who helped Ben get to college, helped.
Ultimately, hard work and determination helped Ben reach the level that he dreamed to play at. He is now living the life of a superstar. From growing up in a small town with little money and ten siblings, to becoming a star athlete and earning $60 million for four years is a huge change. Ben Wallace is a prime example that subhuman conditions do not produce subhumans. I think that this theory is flawed and can be disproved by anyone willing to disprove it. I don’t believe that people are controlled by their environment or by their heredity. For example, if my parents were alcoholics and I saw the way they treated me when they were drunk, I would not want to be alcoholic so that I wouldn’t treat my children that way. The way Ben made it through a hard environment shows many others that it can be done. With hard work and determination, you can rise above anything that holds you down.
“Ben Wallace Biography.” JockBio.Com. 13 Dec. 2007