We never truly lose our childhood fears, while they might not be as strong; there is still a small sense of panic when encountering them. Fears grow and change as we grow older, instead of fearing monsters under the bed. we learn to fear the real monsters in the world. Growing up, I was forced to live in my own personal house of horrors every other weekend. My father viewed his children like pawns in chess, my sister and brothers were responsible for the house so he and his queen, my step-mother, could go have fun every night. As the oldest I was held responsible, if breakfast, lunch, or dinner was not served on time, and if the house wasn’t spotless, punishment and mind games would occur. He could not physically hurt my brother and me; instead he would force my brother and me, to harm our step-brother as our punishment. What was worse was the constant threat of him taking us and disappearing. No matter how many times I called the cops and my mother reported what was happening in that house, he got out of it. I was called a liar and told that my grandparents and mother were brainwashing me, so many times in my childhood I lost count. I learned about the monsters inside people at a young age, and it haunts me every day. Stephen Gislason, in his article “Innate Tendencies,” argues that every human is born with four innate tendencies;
The tendency to criticize, blame and punish others is inevitable in humans and opposes the tendency to cooperate with and care for one another. The tendency to form exclusive groups and discriminate against others is also universal and opposes the tendency toward tolerance and peaceful coexistence. The tendency to covet the property of others, to lie, cheat and steal is also universal and opposes the tendency to respect the integrity of the other, to cooperate and share. The tendency to anger, hatred and killing is also universal and opposes the tendency to recognize the common humanity in the other and opposes the intelligence of seeking ones' own well being by protecting the well-being of others (Gislason).
Gislason’s idea that all of humanity struggles to maintain control over four dark tendencies in constant conflict with the good, is something authors play with. Stephen King writes about the darker parts of humanity or the monsters inside, the ones that can be hidden from society and seem to appear from nowhere. He shows how these tendencies are present and how some people can overcome and some, like Charlie Decker from Rage, cannot. King shows how all of humanity has the potential to become what they fear most, and he illustrates the reaction of those encountering such monsters in his collection of early novellas The Bachman Books.
In Stephen King’s Rage, we meet Charlie Decker a teenage boy who’s past and present situations cause him to snap and take a gun to school. King creates a story around an event that has become all too common in today’s society. The power of King is that he realizes what author Deborah...