What bad behavior did Rousseau learn from his apprenticeship with M. Ducommun; what is Rousseau arguing here?

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lprono eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abel Ducommun was an engraver in Geneva to whom Rousseau was apprenticed in 1725. The choice was not a positive one, as the engraver is described as violent and as incapable of developing a positive relationship with Jean Jacques. He often punished his apprentice and his violent behavior eventually led Rousseau to escape from Geneva. Therefore Ducommun was a negative teacher for Jean Jacques as he taught him to be violent and, with himdsight, the author holds him responsible for his own moral degradation. The character of Ducommun proves Rousseau's ideas on the corrupting effects of society: although he is originally from a good family, Ducommun goes through quick decay and dies in poverty.

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