It will seep inside you, control your mind, and effect your action; fear. In the book All Quiet On The Western Front, a war novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a soldier lives and struggles through the horrible twisted games that fear can play on you. The authors really made me feel and think about what it means to be afraid, and how we deal with horror. They take you through the different levels and even though the action you are doing is moving your eyes across letters you feel the emotion as though you were the one who was living through the story. The emotion is pure, raw, and uncontrollable. As H. P. Lovecraft once said, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear" This quote is really put into us when the author shows you the fear that a young soldier, Paul Baümer, feels when out on a scouting mission.
Paul is crawling across the ground, his uniform covered in dirt, when he slinks into a crater made by one of the French bombs. Paul is in no mans land, and he knows that this is dangerous. As he lies in the shallow bowl in the war torn earth an inner conflict sweeps over his being and he finds himself paralyzed by an animalistic fear. He knows that if he were to be found that he would quickly be killed and just like that he would be dead. The fear that is implanted by the natural instinct to question you surrounding to try to stay safe takes over and Paul's mind starts to run wild as he lies there in the dark of night. Fear transforms itself until it is no longer a emotion, but a physical presence that is a constantly changing variable in Paul's world.
This scene really made me think about how powerful being afraid can be. We have seen it time and time again in our world. Something will happen and people become afraid and make confused decisions. How can we combat something that takes your mind from you and controls your actions. The answer possible might be that we can't. As scary as this thought is there is a silver lining. By being afraid and loosing control we are given a perspective on our lives and makes us aware of things in our lives that we might never have noticed before. After events of that cause fear you will often see people bond together in incredible acts of kindness, compassrion, and love. In a way fear tempers us and makes us appreciate the good in our lives. If there is no fear then it's possible that we would loose our appreciation of things that we should be thankful for. Our of the darkness that fear creates the light of good things shine all the brighter.
This book brings fear to you, and that fear makes you think and feel in ways that you might not think words are capable of creating.