Dave Cullen

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Natural Selection Term Analysis

The evolutionary process by which the variations in characteristics that give an organism the best chance of survival are preserved and multiplied, leading to evolution of those favorable traits. Natural selection “weeds out” organisms whose weak or undesirable traits do not support survival. Charlies Darwin made the term popular in the mid-1800s. Eric Harris “loved” the concept of natural selection, and his sense of superiority over other members of the human race led him to believe that he could be an arbiter, or judge, of survival. This belief is reflected in the execution-style shootings that took place inside Columbine, and especially in the fact that Eric wore a shirt reading “NATURAL SELECTION” during the massacre.

Natural Selection Quotes in Columbine

The Columbine quotes below are all either spoken by Natural Selection or refer to Natural Selection. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Twelve edition of Columbine published in 2010.
Chapter 50 Quotes

“More rage, more rage!” Eric demanded. He motioned with his arms. “Keep building it.”
Dylan hurled another Ericism: “It’s humans I hate.”
Eric raised Arlene, and aimed her at the camera. “You guys will all die, and it will be fucking soon,” he said. “You all need to die. We need to die, too.”
The boys made it clear, repeatedly, that they planned to die in battle. Their legacy would live. “We’re going to kick-start a revolution,” Eric said. “I declared war on the human race and war is what it is.”
He apologized to his mom. “I really am sorry about this, but war’s war.”

Related Characters: Eric Harris (speaker), Dylan Klebold (speaker)
Related Symbols: “Arlene”
Page Number: 327
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Columbine LitChart as a printable PDF.
Columbine PDF

Natural Selection Term Timeline in Columbine

The timeline below shows where the term Natural Selection appears in Columbine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: Judgment
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
...word WRATH, and a baseball cap. Eric wears a similar outfit, but his t-shirt says NATURAL SELECTION . Both boys wear combat boots, share a single pair of gloves, and bring along... (full context)
Chapter 33: Good-Bye
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
...was that of “stupid, witless inferiors.” The thing Eric professed to love most was “ natural selection .” (full context)
Chapter 39: The Book of God
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
...Dylan’s earlier writings which described humans as “zombies.” Eric wants to impose a kind of natural selection of his own making, to “fuck things up as much as we can [and] leave... (full context)
Chapter 42: Diversion
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
...the van deserved to be “shot” for leaving his belongings “in plain sight,” citing “ NATURAL SELECTION ” in all caps. Eric hides his contempt from Andrea Sanchez, and brags privately about... (full context)