Fear… The dictionary defines fear as: a feeling of alarm of disquiet caused by the expectation of danger, pain, disaster, or the like; terror; dread; apprehension. But do you think that the feeling of fear can be defined? Think about it, when watching a scary movie, one may feel scared of uncomfortable, but fear? No, fear is a feeling one gets when a gun is pointed at their head or before going into an intense surgery. Here, I have three examples of fear through literature, art and music.
In Edgar Allen Poe’s, "The Fall of the House of Usher", fear is one motif followed throughout the whole story. Fear is greatly showed in this story even before the reader is captured in the words. One passage on the fourth line shows this, "I know not how it was–but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded on my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible." This passage presents a feeling of fear in the reader that increases throughout the whole story, not just when it gets "scary". One critic from the Washington Post writes, Edgar Allen Poe’s, "The Fall of the House of Usher", revolves around this realm of fear, and reveals the importance of facing and overcoming our fears." Another critic, Dawn Priegel, says, "Because of Roderick’s fear, however, he is restrained from leaving and does not make the attempt to defeat this enduring power that holds him captive." These critics prove that fear is the most powerful motif all the way through the story.
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Salvador Dali shows a motif of fear in his painting, "Visage of War". In fact, this painting was directly related to Edgar Allen Poe’s, "The Fall of the House of Usher" on the web site: www.poedecoder.com/essays/fissure/ . The images on this painting show pure fear. Dali created this effect by using dull, dark, gloomy colors and little texture and movement. One critic of Dali, Roy Lichenstein, wrote, "Dali has reached a point of repetition so that his later works were merely imitations of his earlier works." In this painting the look on the images faces is of pure fear. Inside of each eye socket, and his mouth there is the same face, and in their eyes and mouths there is the face again, and so on and so on.
The musical piece I chose to represent fear is "Pictures of You", by The Cure. Here are the lyrics:
I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of
you that I almost believe that they’re real I’ve
been living so long with my pictures of you that
I almost believe that the pictures are all I can
Remembering you standing quiet in the rain as
I ran to your heart to be near and we kissed as
the sky fell in holding you close how I always
held close in your fear remembering you
running soft through the night you were bigger
and brighter and whiter than snow and
screamed at the make-believe screamed at the
sky and you finally found all your courage to
let it all go
Remembering you fallen into my arms crying
for the death of you heart you were stone
white so delicate so lost in the cold you were
always so lost in the dark remembering you
How you used to be slow drowned you were
angels so much more than everything oh hold
for the last time then slip away quietly open
my eyes but I never see anything
If only I’d thought of the right words I could
have held onto your heart if only I’d thought of
the right words I wouldn’t be breaking apart all
my pictures of you
Looking so long at these pictures of you but I
never hold onto your heart looking so long for
the words to be true but always just breaking
apart my pictures of you
There was nothing in the world that I ever
wanted more than to feel you deep in my heart
There was nothing in the world that I ever
wanted more than to never feel the breaking
apart all my pictures of you
This song is about the fear of losing a loved one. One critic from "Rolling Stone" magazine says, "The fear of loving one or losing a loved one is the scariest fear of all." This song shows that fear is not only being afraid of something but also of someone.
Fear. Fear is not something to be defined. It should be discussed, or analyzed, but to say that fear is a feeling of danger or pain is too broad. Also fear can be one being afraid of something concrete, like in "The Fall of the House of Usher", or one being afraid of something abstract, like love, shown in "Pictures of You".
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