The Strict Peg Fear

1397 Words6 Pages
In The Tent Peg, one feels the urge to comprehend the unknown because of their curiosity, greed and desire to attain ultimate knowledge. The fear of the unknown overwhelms people to such an extent that their actions, beliefs, and behaviour are hindered by it. What is it about the unknown that is fearful? Van Herk demonstrates that an individual is intimidated and threatened by the unknown, hence, giving rise to one’s survival instincts. The fear for the unknown is displayed through the desire to colonize, dominate and conquer another. Throughout the novel, characters discover that fear is relative and does not exist by itself. Greed is derived from one’s attachment to another person which is motivated by the fear of loss and the unwillingness…show more content…
Humans try to control nature by implementing their force upon it. In The Tent Peg, the men in the camp use means of force to take control of mother nature by bringing in heavy machinery and helicopters, thus leading to loud noises and disrupting the peaceful norms of nature. To humans, nature is an unknown territory which dictates their greed and curiosity to attain ultimate knowledge by constantly exploring nature, often resulting in the destruction of nature. When humans are intimidated and threatened by nature, they immediately try to overcome it by resorting to one's survival instincts. When the landslide occurs, the geologists are unaware of this fact (Van Herk 121), however when they learn of its occurrence their first thought is to find means of escape by moving their camp. Moreover, religion dominates humans as it influences their actions, morals and behaviour. Milton is seen as an extremely religious person who is greatly influenced by these “rules” implemented upon him. Hence, he tries to implement his religious nature upon his roommate because he is afraid of the answers not found within his religion. Furthermore, all of the men in the camp are religious in one way or another because they are in search of validation, but correspondingly they are also afraid of what their future holds. As a result of their fear, they turn to JL for their worries because she seems to have all the answers. When Jerome is unable to receive this validation from JL, he tries to dominate her through the use of his physical force. As a result of unanswered questions humans are conditioned to fear and discriminate against those that differ from the norms of society, thus, JL is looked upon as a “witch” (Van Herk 125). One’s need for personal space is dominated by the necessity to fear those that do not “fit” within the society. The norms are enforced upon humans
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