Wednesday, November 7, 2007


These days, I find myself constantly thinking about how fear is the most pitiful form of motivation. A constant reminder would be acts of violence, both in suicidal and terrorist form and in school shooting form. In both instances, the people involved change and are motivated from then on by the fear that they have experienced based on that one event. Ironically, this is exactly what the attackers wanted to happen. They wanted people to be fearful in their lives and to be affected.

However, fear that is internal and fear that is external is different. The fear that influences the main character in “B. Traven Is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca”, the speaker in “End of April” and the people in “Serving up hope”, is mainly based on internal influences that are, in the end, overcome. In “B. Traven Is Alive and Well in Cuernavaca”, the writer finally overcomes the overwhelming sense of being lost in fantasy, lies, and reality to complete his mission of writing a story. The speaker in the “End of April” ends up overcoming the pain experienced from seeing the cracked egg on the ground, and the simultaneous pain of losing a relationship through time. In “Serving up Hope”, the people overcome their fear of addiction and drugs by opening up a restaurant. However, all of these fears are internal.

How does a person overcome a fear that is external, that is not immediately present? It’s tough to say, because those involved do not know the effect that external fear can have on their lives, and whose souls they kill by acting on a fear they have very little control over. In most cases, the people within a society overact on these fears. They single out people who could possibly make the external fear come to life. As Phillis Levin says, “It didn’t seem real, but nature will do such things from time to time.” Fear invades unexpected and leaves forcefully, but it is more difficult for a society to release such fear than it is for a single person to do so, as much as the people being metaphorically killed, innocently, are crying out for a change.

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