Fear is triggered by perceptions, which affect a person’s lifestyle and interactions with other individuals. Notably, fear alerts individuals about a potential threat or incident that may interfere with their physical or psychological wellbeing. In some instances, fear may originate from real danger, while in other cases, it might be triggered by imaginary thoughts about perceived danger. Over the years, the definition of fear has undergone numerous changes that have shaped the way individuals handle the feeling. For instance, medical practitioners diagnose fear as a mental health condition manifested through panic disorders, social anxiety disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). From this realization, exploring fear as a subject in the humanities creates the much-needed awareness about the feeling that interferes with a person’s perspectives towards life. Hence, exploring the pros and cons of fear will demonstrate its impact on human existence and how individuals can embrace the feeling to accomplish their desired goals and objectives.
I have chosen Fear as my final project topic because of its mixed interpretations in the contemporary world. People convey a fear in a negative sense because of the findings from medical research studies. Exploring the pros and cons of fear will emancipate the public and create a definitive approach that people can use whenever they encounter the basic human response. On the one hand, perpetual fear fosters ignorance, unease, and emptiness. On the other side, fear is one of the most basic human emotions that enable individuals to make informed decisions. When people sense danger or feel insecure, it is natural and part of their survival instincts to be shocked or terrified. From this observation, fear protects individuals by making them aware of the underlying risk and more prepared to deal with it. Therefore, the three examples that will be used in exploring the abstract concept include the allegory of the cave, Not Afraid by Eminem, and The Help.
The Allegory of the Cave (Philosophy), written by Plato, is an analogy where cave prisoners are stuck in an illusion created by those in charge of the cave. In this tale, Plato highlights the impact of fear and how it affects how individuals perceive life and other aspects of society. Notably, the grounded prisoners develop imaginary thoughts on the outside world. Given the time spent in the cave, the prisoners have a limited understanding of the events beyond the cave (Ted-Ed). When one of the prisoners escapes, he is surprised at what he sees. Importantly, the freed prisoner escapes and returns with a whole new perspective, which his counterparts doubt, who perceive him as a deceitful character on a mission to mislead them. The Allegory of the Cave shows how fear can affect the logic of one’s environment.
Not Afraid (Music) by Eminem was produced during a tough period where the singer was battling a drug addiction problem. Eminem propelled himself past this addiction and created an inspirational piece that saw him overcome failure’s fear (Eminem). Given his position as a recovering drug addict, the song made waves across the entertainment scene because of its ability to encourage individuals facing different problems to confront them and make informed decisions that influence their perspectives towards life. The song’s melody, catchy hooks, and rhythm were essential to this song as it won a Grammy in 2011. Eminem describes how it was difficult for him to conquer and overcome the fear of changing into a reformed person by sharing his problems.
The Help (Film) by Tate Taylor is about a writer and two African American maids who share their experiences watching over white families. Tate Taylor does a great job of using a different point of view between the writer and maids in showing the characters’ experiences. During the dark slavery days, people of color encountered different challenges that undermined their position in the community (The Help). Fear is a dominant theme in the film because of the scarred interactions between the maids and their masters. In addition, this film’s plot shows how the fear of retribution can shadow the truth. From this perspective, the film demonstrates how fear can be explored in the humanities because of its strong influence on people’s interactions and perspectives towards life and society.
Examining the pros and cons of fear will demonstrate its impact on human existence and how individuals can embrace the feeling to accomplish their desired goals and objectives. In The Allegory of the Cave, Plato demonstrates how fear is a major constraint in achieving desired outcomes. The fear of change is a negative attribute that hinders individuals from advancing in life and realizing goals, influencing their overall perspectives. Likewise, Eminem’s Not Afraid is a musical masterpiece that outlines the hindrance caused by fear when people are on the verge of realizing their desired outcomes. In the same vein, The Help (film) highlights how fear of retribution hinders people from learning the truth. From this observation, studying fear as a subject in the humanities presents an exciting talking point that influences the perceptions individuals hold towards the abstract concept.
“Eminem – Not Afraid (Official Video).” YouTube, uploaded by Eminem, 5 June 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5-yKhDd64s.
Ted-Ed. “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave – Alex Gendler.” YouTube, uploaded by TED-Ed, 17 Mar. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RWOpQXTltA&feature=youtu.be.
The Help. 2012. [film] Directed by T. Taylor. Greenwood, Mississippi: DreamWorks.