The Source of All Fears

Essay by GMXHigh School, 12th grade November 2004

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NOTE: The page number references are from the book "Story and Structure Canadian Edition" by Leurence Perrine

With the birth of the first human fear took control of him no differently than the other animals, however the way humans put up with it is unlike any animal. The source of fear has shifted from nature's elements to the destructive minds in our midst. These destructors, driven by desire for power and retribution, persuade others to follow them and carry destructive actions. The protagonist from Graham Greene's "The Destructors" is a teenage boy with great talent in leadership and planning but pointed in a dangerous direction, a classic example of a destructive mind.

Fear is one of the most basic and powerful emotions, it prevents us from accomplishing things and because of it we defy progress. Certain individuals recognize and decide to exploit this human feature. Trevor is an outstanding leader as he persuades the Wormsley Common Gang to follow him into what seems to be a crazy plan.

Trevor didn't need to use fear in order to control the gang but rather he intrigues them with fame and they readily agree; none of the other gang members realised the scale of their operation let alone the amount of planning Trevor put in. The gang members, especially the older ones, understood that by advancing from the insignificant "...pinching free rides ..." (p56) to the headlines in newspapers. An example of fear slowing progress is when Old Misery returns home early; the gang is scared, they want to get out of there, they fear getting caught, if Mr. Thomas wasn't anywhere near the gang would continue to demolish the house. The greatest and the most important quality about fear is we loose a part of our free will...