Fear as a Motivator

By: Jenna Bartley, Gabi Siewczynski, Hailey Hess

When put in a situation when you need to be motivated, which do you think would be the biggest driving factor?

A) The fear of _______ itself (frightened or scary)

B) Thoughts of the _______ (what is to come)

C) Fear of _______ (when you no longer are in touch with something)

D) Afraid of _______ (opposite of success)

Although there are many different types of fear in almost all cases it is able to drive you to take action.

Safe Haven Trailer 2013 Movie Nicholas Sparks - Official [HD]
In various pieces of work including novels, movies, plays, poems fear is prevalent and causes drastic actions.

President Franklin Roosevelt famously asserted, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."

  • When the word fear comes to mind we immediately think of what we are afraid of and not what fear itself actually is.
  • Fear has gotten a bad connotation among most societies, but it is not nearly as complicated as we try to think of it as.
  • Fear- an anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience.

Quote 1

“We may stay here till we die.”
With that word the heat began to increase till it became a threatening weight and the lagoon attacked them with a blinding effulgence.

The realization that the boys might never be rescued from the island was the initial fear that moved them to action. Once they understood that they might live on the island forever, Jack and Ralph was motivated to different things. Ralph clung to civilization for dear life, whereas Jack sought the destruction of it. The fear of loss and of the future began to surround the boys constantly.

Quote 2

“You’ve noticed, haven’t you?”
Jack put down his spear and squatted.
“Noticed what?”
“Well. They’re frightened.”
He rolled over and peered into Jack’s fierce, dirty face.
“I mean the way things are. They dream. You can hear ‘em. Have you been awake at night?” Jack shook his head.
“They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others. As if –”
“As if it wasn’t a good island.”

Once fear had entered into the boys lives, it began to surround them constantly. Their fear haunted them even in their dreams. The darkness of night brought out the boys fear of evil and they cried of in their fright. This unsettled all of them and slowly peace began to elude the boys and they were constantly uneasy.

Quote 3

In front of them, only three or four yards away, was a rock-like hump where no rock should be. Ralph could hear a tiny chattering noise coming from somewhere – perhaps his own mouth. He bound himself together with his will, fused his fear and loathing into a hatred, and stood up. He took two leaden steps forward.

In this part of the book, Ralph and Jack were hunting the beast and both were trying to out-do each other. However, the fear of the beast attacked them both in different ways. Jack was petrified and could not move, whereas Ralph was moved to action. Ralph overcame his fear of the beast and attempted to find and end his fear. By completing this action Ralph showed his good character and his strength.

Quote 4

“I expect the beast disguised himself.”
“Perhaps […]. We'd better keep on the right side of him, anyhow. You can't tell what he might do.”
The tribe considered this; and then were shaken, as if by a flow of wind. The chief saw the effect of his words and stood abruptly.

In this quote, Jack sees and realizes that he has the ability to create fear in the minds of the other boys. With his few words, he caused the whole tribe to be shaken because they believed all of Jack's words to be true. This manipulative discovery motivates him to use fear as a source of power.

Quote 5

“I'm scared of him," said Piggy, "and that's why I know him. If you're scared of someone you hate him but you can't stop thinking about him...” (Golding 94)

This quote, similar to the one before, shows how the leaders used fear as a tool to manipulate and scare the others in order to gain power and authority. Piggy is so scared of Jack that he is under the complete force of him. This is another example of how fear can be put in the minds of others in order so that one may gain power.


Disscussion Questions

1) What are some of the results when you conquer fear? And when it is conquered is a new motivator necessary?

2) If there is a fear that is constant in your life do you think that a new fear that you may suddenly be faced with is a more drastic motivator?

3) In Lord of the Flies do you think the boys' evolving fears affected their actions and decisions made? Think of their fears and how motivating they were.

4) In our society today, is fear mainly positive or is is mainly negative?


Works Cited

"Meaning To Work What Motivates You: Driven by Fear." Meaning To Work » What Motivates You: Driven by Fear. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <http://www.meaningtowork.com/2012/01/what-motivates-you-driven-by-fear/>.

Albrecht, Karl. "The (Only) Five Basic Fears We All Live By." Physchology Time. N.p., 22 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainsnacks/201203/the-only-five-basic-fears-we-all-live>.

"Safe Haven Trailer 2013 Movie Nicholas Sparks - Official [HD]." YouTube. YouTube, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejQEdUwv0ew>.