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The Terrified Leaders: How Fear Drives Power In Literature

1603 words - 6 pages

Manipulation is the basis of power in modern day society. Using fear with in societies, powerful people rise to power. Gaining control and dominance can be done by utilizing the anxiety in the society. Similarly, readers see fear as a driving force for authority in literature. Simangele from “The Test”, Jack from Lord of the Flies, and the government in The Hunger Games all utilize the fear in their societies or groups to rise and dominate in power.
The group of boys in “The Test” are afraid of Simangele’s sanguinary attitude. When Simangele argues with Vusi, the arguments heats up but the boys do not choose sides: "Simangele got no response from the others. It would have been risky for them to take sides" (Ndebele 3). The boys in the group are afraid of taking sides in arguments between Vusi and Simangele. They know that this argument can increase tremendously causing disputes that can end badly for all the boys. People are afraid of people from farms: "Then people say 'beware of those from the farms, they will stab with a broad smile on their faces'" (Ndebele 12). Because Simangele used to live on a farm, he does not understand things in towns. Since people would laugh at him, he would fight back and not back down in fights. Simangele’s friends are afraid of Simangele because he does not back down in fights.
The tribe in Lord of the Flies is afraid of certain aspects of on the island. Ralph asks Jack why he hates him, causing uneasiness across the other boys: "'Why do you hate me?' The boys stirred uneasily, as though something indecent has been said" (Golding 130). The boys in the tribe want a proper leader that everyone agrees on. However, because of the tension between Ralph and Jack, the boys are uncertain about the outcomes, and they struggle to decide on the proper leader. Ralph wishes for grown-ups or a sign that can help the boys get rescued; they are all worried if they will get recused or not: “If only they could get a message to us,” cried Ralph desperately. “If only they could send us something grown-up... a sign or something” (Golding 102). Ralph and the other boys fear the idea of living without grown-ups. Although they enjoyed the idea before, they wish to receive a message and are terrified that they will not get one. The boys look out to the ocean, unknown if the beast lives there: "The assembly looked with him; considered the vast stretches of water, the high sea beyond, unknown indigo of infinite possibility; heard silently the sough and whisper from the reef" (Golding 94). As the boys look at the ocean, they become more nervous and do not know if the beast comes from the water. Because of this new possibility, the boys look at Ralph to try to find some comfort only to see Ralph's uncertainty and fear as well. The boys are afraid of having the wrong leader, being abandoned, and living near the beast.
The government in The Hunger Games fear resentment from the citizens in Panem. There was many natural disasters before Panem...

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