Fear And Anxiety In Elizebeth Kolbert's The

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Fear and anxiety. These are emotions that everybody, no matter their walk of life, has felt and are familiar with. Fear and anxiety are emotions that are able to be curtailed, but never completely be wiped out of a person’s life. Whether we like it or not, these primal emotions can control our actions and therefor control our lives. Fear and anxiety trigger the “fight or flight” response. Fear is triggered when danger is present. If we feel that we being put in danger or already in danger, we naturally are afraid (Lazarus). Responding to a dangerous situation with fear is a self-preserving quality that was necessary for the survive of the human species. Anxiety is closely linked to fear. Anxiety is felt when you are faced with something that…show more content…
Looking at the root of the fear of death, we can derive that the fear may come from the fear of the unknown. The fear of what is not understood is a common fear that everyone has experienced in their life. Simplifying the fear of death to just the fear of the unknown, or something that we cannot know the outcome of for certain reveals a theme that is very common in literature. It is a theme that connects to us personally or through fictional characters. Ernest Becker’s Denial of Death, Elizebeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist all have the common theme of fearing the unknown. Each develops this theme in a different light, using varying methods from scientific evidence to a fable. These books all show how the fear of the unknown has the power to control our lives, in both positive and negative…show more content…
Kolbert’s book is an in depth look into thirteen species that have gone extinct. She breaks down the factors that resulted in the extinction of the specie. By reading this book, the reader is given a different perspective about death and the fear of the unknown than presented in Becker’s The Denial of Death. Becker’s analysis focuses how a person comes to realize his or her own mortality and how that affects him or her in their life. In Kolbert’s book, the angle is different because she reveals how we tend to try to deny death through the mass extinction of other

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