The Role Of Fear In The Novel 'Odds Against Tomorrow'

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Fear is present in our lives whether it is fear of insects, fear of failing a class or fear of tight spaces. However, fear is not always induced because you are in danger, but can often times be imagined. In the novel Odds Against Tomorrow by Nathaniel Rich, the protagonist Mitchell Zukor lives with fear everyday. Mitchell calculates worst-case scenarios of natural disasters. He works for a company that sells fear, FutureWorld. One of the worst-case scenarios Mitchell had predicted comes true. A hurricane hits New York City. Mitchell and his co-worker Jane go off to find his friend from college Elsa. The novel shows us that Mitchell deals with fear with calculation of risk and lives with constant anxiety, Elsa unlike Mitchell does not dwell…show more content…
Each person deals with fear in various ways, which often times can lead to unhealthy effects such Mitchell developing paranoia. Paranoia prevents Mitchell from going about his day without worrying of what can cause him danger. This affects him in even the smallest ways such as him preferring to take the stairs instead of the elevator of the Empire State Building due to fear of possible elevator incidents (46). Mitchell uses disaster predictions as a coping mechanism. He is himself when he talks and sells fear. In the beginning of the novel Mitchel lives in a constant panic mode. He works for a company where his job is to calculate risks. Mitchell lives his life with nonstop thoughts of any worst-case scenario occurring to him. One example of this is when he is talking to his mother Rikki. His mother knows that Mitchell is fearful of these scenarios he keeps creating. Mitchell tells his mother that everyone has fears. “It’s just a matter of controlling them.”(76). Mitchell then asks her how she controls her fears. Rikki responds by saying that she tends to avoid them and keep them out of her mind. While
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