This quote sounds very similar to things that happen today. A kid can be born with a great mindset on life and have potential to be successful, however, if they are born into a life with very little and everybody around him is doing bad things there is a very small chance that this kid will not be sucked into this bad life. He will probably end up the same exact way as everybody else around him. This is just like we talked about in class today. Peer pressure can be very strong and very influential so it takes a very strong person to break the ice and do the right thing. Some people use the example of nature vs. nurture. This is describing the differences between how a kid is born and how they are raised. Nobody really knows which one has a stronger impact on the kids personality when he matures. This is what Northup is describing with Ford. He was born with all the great aspects of a great person but, the way he was raised and the things he was surrounded by completely changed that.