Fear of the Unknown

Prompted by Mr. Long’s remark on one of my comments on another students comment, I will write about fear; fear of the unknown.

Society keeps us in check, but fear drives us to push away the new, odd ideas. Alice herself rejects the smoking caterpillar because she does not know about him. The caterpillar is odd and unknown, and in a different way, she is afraid of him. She does not know what to think.

We fear what we can not explain. Death can not be explained, or rather there are a lot of theories of what happens to us when we pass on. We fear death because we do not know what happens when we die. We fear different people from other countries because we do not know them. We can not explain what we do not know, therefore we are afraid of it.

Alice becomes afraid of changing size because she does not know what her changing of size brings about. She is frustrated and confused about her size change; her size change is unknown. She becomes afraid to change size.

Fear drives us to do wild things; irrational responses. These responses are to simple problems that if we sat down to think about, we could overcome our fear. Fear of the Native Americans caused us to kill them and take their lands. Fear of a nuclear war caused mobility of more nuclear warheads, that ultimately spiraled out of control. Nuclear fear led to the cold war. America had fear; fear of the what the Russians were doing with their missiles; fear of the unknown. That fear drove America to make decisions that caused more fear for the Russians as well. The double fear caused more and more mobility and production of nuclear warheads. All this happened because of fear.

If we overcome fear and talk to one another then we can solve the unknown part of the equation. If we solve the unknown, than the fear works its way out of the equation. There would be no fear, no bad decisions, and no unknown.

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Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 16:18  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Very interesting post… I wonder if you have looked into pop culture to see how fears are realized in movies or tv shows, for example. I was a in high school in the late 80s, and the villains in most of our shows were usually Russian. The Cold War ended shortly after I graduated high school.

    Now, think about who the villains are in our shows. It’s pretty obvious what we fear, in my opinion.

    Do you think the characters whom Alice feared were symbols for those that Lewis Carroll actually feared?

  2. I was very drawn to the topic of fear. My 9 year old has many new fears: dark rooms, being lost, things under his bed or in his closet. I also have lots of fears: in particular, that I will somehow lose him in crowds. It would have been interesting if you had made a personal connection between Alice’s fear and one of our own.

  3. This is such a great post! I love your connection to Alice’s changing size to society’s fears… never knowing what’s going to come with each change. We fear things because they will change from what we expect, from what they were. When Alice changes (if I remember correctly), she never fits. Is this what underlies her fear to change… that she won’t fit in?

    Could you please tell me what Mr. Long’s remark was and link to the comment you gave to the other student so I can see what inspired this entry? Thank you!

  4. I like the fact that you talk about overcoming fear rather than getting rid of it. Fear is sometimes a useful instinct that saves us but often it is the irrational fears that keep us from achieving great things. Overcoming those irrational fears will lead you to achieve.


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