Essay The Motivations Of Humanity, American Literature

1009 Words Jun 7th, 2016 5 Pages
Studying the motivations of humanity, American Literature analyzes the positive and negative effects of fearing the unknown. Terror and panic brought on by fear are more paralyzing than any other feeling within the human range of emotions. American Authors assess behavioral changes caused by the crippling fear of the unknown, ranging from personality shifts, to reckless behavior, investigating the way fear affects different individuals. Tim O’Brien uses his war book The Things They Carried to exemplify the most unavoidable unknown that people face: the fear of death. Tim announces it as well, “I was scared,” (O’Brien, 215). Tim and all the soldiers around him have a near constant fear of death while in battle because in reality, no one has any tangible facts about life after dying and that unknown creates a paralyzing fear which American Authors analyze. Contrastingly, people also fear personal unknowns, for example in Jon Krakauer’s novel Into the Wild, Chris McCandless has an intense fear of regret. While plenty of people experience regret in their lifetimes, Chris has never felt it, making it unknown to him, and so he avoids it by running away and doing whatever he pleases with his life, taking about, “the great triumphant joy of living life to the fullest,” (Krakauer, 37). For Chris, this fear is entirely personally, but for people like Perry Smith in In Cold Blood, this fear comes externally. Perry fears the hatred coming from his partner Dick, causing him to change…

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