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The Influence Of Fear In 'Antojo' By Julia Alvarez

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Fear influences people to make irrational decisions and take extreme measures. Often times, these actions are done to protect one’s reputation. Fear causes people to lie and manipulate to those they care about in order to escape what they are scared of most. Fear of failure has caused higher levels of anxiety, and has made society put blame on each other, rather than owning up to their mistakes. Fear can also cause one to forget one’s true identity and lose one’s values. There are two options that one can take when being faced with a fear: run away from the fear, or go through it and learn a valuable lesson in the end that will make you a stronger person. Fear is a harmful emotion that everyone has to go through in order to succeed.
Fear can influence one to make irrational
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In the short story “Antojos”, by Julia Alvarez, the protagonist, Yolanda pretends to only know English because she is fearful of the two men that try to speak to her in Spanish. It is evident that she is in fear of the men when “she can feel her pounding heart-- and nods” (Alvarez). It is ironic how she hides her Dominican Republic identity because she wants to connect with her family roots while she was visiting. Yolanda pretends to not know English so that she would be able to understand what the men were saying without them knowing. She uses this strategy as a “fight” method. Sometimes when one is in an uncomfortable situation that can put one’s life in danger, one does whatever one can to survive. This is shown in the poem “Runagate Runagate”, by Robert Hayden, when he says, “Some go weeping and some rejoicing/ Some in coffins and some in carriages/ Some in silks and some in shackles/ Rise and go or fare you well” (Hayden). Actions that one takes in response to fear can affect one’s life. Sometimes one has to choose to face one’s fear in order to be successful in the long
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