The Power of Fear Illustrated in "The Storm" Essay

The Power of Fear Illustrated in "The Storm" Essay

Length: 935 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Fear. By definition it is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain, whether the threat is real or imaginary. Fear has power, but only when the person feeling it gives it power. In “The Storm” Janet gives power to her fear, and by doing so, fear masks what Janet should truly be afraid of, leading to the development of her character, the conflicts within her mind, and the overall theme of the short story.
Throughout the story, Janet is depicted as a person with a “pale face with a blunt nose, slender with a childlike figure, and plain.” Because of this characterization it is not difficult to understand her mentality for protection. Janet is insecure about her looks and she constantly questions her actions, even commenting on the “fact that she had married at all seemed a miracle to her.” The fear that overtakes her during the story, however, contributes to the “survivor” personality she begins to obtain. During the storm Janet is alone and she has to do things by herself. She has to go into a dark basement to get fire wood, decide what is best for her “family” when she finds a dead body in her trunk, and finally escape the clutches of a seemingly psychotic husband. Janet goes through experiences in this story dealing with the development of a “grown-up” personality and the realization that the only person you can truly trust is yourself. The fear that she felt towards the storm did not even come close the true fear that grasped her when she realized that her husband was a murderer. In the end Janet had to shed her childlike personality, that craved protection, to save herself from a truly unimaginable fear.
As a human race we always seem to argue with ourselves, battling between one choice and th...


... middle of paper ...


.... The way she is constantly battling herself over every little thought that pops into her head gives more and more power to her fear. The fear she feels for herself and for saving Ben all lead to the conclusion that Janet should not have been so afraid of her instincts and more afraid of the truth she was conveying to herself without knowing it. Fear is powerful and in Janet’s case, her fear masked the reality that her husband was a deranged killer.
Fear is omnipotent. We give power to fear by allowing it to control our thoughts and actions. People act irrationally when intimidated by fear, just as Janet did. Janet’s character development and inner conflict are all masked by fear which contributes wholly to the theme. To give power to fear is to make it stronger, and in the end it is evident that what we should fear the most is right in front of our eyes.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Asserting Your Independence by Testing The Boundaries of Sexuality in "The Storm"

- caught in their own individual marital obligations to people other than themselves. The passion they have for each other, though, overtakes any kind of desire to stay committed to their spouses with minimal regrets as the story progresses. A great majority of the narrative in the “The Storm” implies that testing ones boundaries in human sexuality is one of the more passionate forms of asserting one’s own independence. This approach greatly contradicts the opposing beliefs of traditional cultures that have an extreme disapproval of any kind of experimentation or heavy passion outside of one’s own marriage....   [tags: The Storm, sexuality, Kate Chopin,]

Better Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

Storm Fear Essay

- The poem “Storm Fear” by Robert Frost describes a scene in which “the wind works against us in the dark.” Throughout the poem, the frozen landscape acts as an antagonist fighting against man. In the classic novella Ethan Frome, author Edith Wharton also personifies the landscape. The village of Starkfield, New England during the harsh winters is also an antagonist, prohibiting the characters from communicating with each other effectively. Throughout both works the environment causes Ethan and the speaker of the poem to suppress their feelings until it is too late to act....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Robert Frost]

Better Essays
1521 words (4.3 pages)

Machiavellian Concepts on the Use of Fear Essay

- In Machiavelli’s “Prince” he discussed the use of fear as a political tool to maintain the state. He argued that fear when properly directed could generate loyalty and bolster the support of the government. He went on to write that fear was only powerful when wielded with care and when abused could quickly become counterproductive and result in being hated by the people. Fear was potent because it was the prince’s creation. Unlike love that is given to the prince and can easily be taken away, fear is the prince’s tool and his alone....   [tags: Fear]

Better Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

The Illusion of Escape Illustrated in Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory

- Plato, the great philosopher, once said, “No one can escape his destiny” (“Destiny Quotes”). No matter how hard a person might try to escape a boundary, be it real or of the mind, they cannot evade the inevitable. In author Graham Greene’s novel, The Power and the Glory, the efforts to escape mentally, geographically, and physically are shown to make an impact on an individual’s life. Greene implies that though the rewards of escape can be seen as an attainable goal, the efforts are futile, almost always ending in failure because of uncontrollable boundaries....   [tags: The Power and the Glory]

Better Essays
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on White Hurricane: The Great Storm

- WHITE HURRICANE November gales are a curse on the Great Lakes. In 1835, a storm was said to have "swept the lakes clear of sail." Lake Erie was blasted by 60 mph winds on November 22 and 23, 1874. On Nov. 25, 1905 a November gale sank or stranded more than 16 ships. On Nov 11, 1940 (Armistice Day Storm) a storm wrecked 12 vessels. The giant bulk carrier Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a November gale in 1975....   [tags: lakes, storm, weather, ships]

Better Essays
2517 words (7.2 pages)

Malmar McKnight’s The Storm Essay

- Malmar McKnight’s The Storm Malmar McKnight’s frightening story, “The Storm”, weaves a violent storm and murder together to heighten the horrific fears that engulf Janet Willsom. “The Storm” is a combination of Mother Nature, Janet’s emotions, and her heartbreaking dilemmas. The eerie mood is revealed throughout the story. Figurative language helps the reader bring the story to life in his/ her mind. The author’s use of irony is devolved through Janet’s changed perception of the storm. Throughout the story, the mood becomes more suspenseful....   [tags: Malmar McKnight The Storm]

Better Essays
460 words (1.3 pages)

The Power of Fear in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay examples

- Macbeth    The Tremendous Power of Fear Fear motivates us to do many things, whether they are right or wrong.  In the play Macbeth, fear was the main motivation that influenced the outcome of the play. This can be proved by the subsequent murders after Duncan's. Why were these committed. Macbeth was scared of being caught and having to pay for the wrongs he had done.  Also, look at Lady Macbeth. The constant washing of her hands, sleepwalking, and other behavior like this is done out of fear....   [tags: GCSE English Literature Coursework]

Free Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)

Essay The Storm by Theodore Roethke

- The Storm by Theodore Roethke      The descriptive poem written by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke, deals with an aggressive storm and all its effects on the environment: the surrounding nature and the people experiencing it. The storm is described in a disorganized manner to highlight the big chaos the storm causes. Nature is precisely illustrated, because it reacts on the storm and thus is an important factor for the description of the storm. The people simply give an extra dimension to the poem, and the theme of men versus nature in the form of a storm....   [tags: Storm Poem Theodore Roethke Essays]

Better Essays
1315 words (3.8 pages)

The Storm Essay

- The Storm The purpose of this paper is to analyze The Storm by Kate Chopin. In this paper we will look at the setting, atmosphere, plot, character, foreshadowing, symbolism and theme of this story. Setting and Atmosphere This story is set on a sultry afternoon in south Louisiana near Biloxi. The body of the story takes place in Calixta's home during a fierce summer storm. The atmosphere is charged with electricity and sexual tension caused by the storm and the unexpected arrival of Alcée Laballière who Calixta had not seen very often since her marriage, and never alone....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Better Essays
993 words (2.8 pages)

Essay The Storm

- The Storm In Kate Chopin’s short story “The Storm”, the narrative surrounds the brief extramarital affair of two individuals, Calixta and Alcee. The story does not seem to be as a condemnation of infidelity, but rather as an affirmation of human sexuality. “The Storm” may be interpreted as a specific affirmation of feminine sexuality and passion cojoined with a condemnation of its repression by the constraints of society. Even though the adultery considered a crime at that period of time, the storm allowed a moment....   [tags: English Literature Essays]

Better Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)