Nature Vs. Nurture is an outdated binary that still finds itself front and center of group discussions in philosophy, sociology and psychology classes. The battle lines are fuzzy, but determined. Nature is either our genetic map that lays out coding for who we could become or a euphemism for a transcendental a priori force that devises a complex system of human attributes at the moment of conception ranging from Down's Syndrome to all-star football player. Nature is the set of social relationships an individual is born into and chooses and re-chooses as they life out their live span. But what if your childhood was interrupted by a violence that broke your family, and forced you to be raised by a needy and possessive ghost? This is the problem that Mama unravels.
Parents are a naive and a bit narcissistic in their idea that they are the dominate force in shaping a child in a child's development. A child as just as much if not more, of a force in creating a parent, as a parent has in creating a child. Take for example Annabel's transformation from hesitant parent to fully embodying the self sacrificing motherhood ethos. One of the first scenes that introduced Annabel is where she is sitting on a toilet waiting for the indicator on a pregnancy test to make a sign. Joyous she thanks god for her infertility and rushes in to tell Lucas the good news. Who confronts the news ambivalently and shifts to the subject to how he is unable to continue playing the people he hired to find Veronica and Lilly. Shifting the conversation back to her, Annabel mounts Lucas says
Annabel: Its your brother, if you want to spend all your money trying to find them its ok with me. It's cheaper then therapy. ...and so am IAnnabel here equates their relationship with Lucas's search for his brother’s children. At the same time initiating intercourse. So, while Annabel does not want children, she does want to have hear cake and eat it too. She wants a man that wants children, but doesn't have children so that she can maintain her rebellious child-like lifestyle. This of course, is rudely disrupted by the introduction of Veronica and Lilly, where Annabel is forced into a situation where she has to become a mother or lose her relationship. What then transpires are a series of events where Annabel tries and fails at being a mother, yet proceeds to gain the respect of the children. Then, when finally becoming a mother, Mama appears in a final burst to take back the girls. At stake here is Annabel's new found sense of motherhood, still full of doubt, confronting the psychotic confidence of Mama.