|Stories - Part Four: Decisions and Problems
Closely related to superstitions are phobias. These are beliefs that can often be traced to a cause. People who are frightened of spiders, snakes, flying, open or closed spaces, etc. There are people who continually wash their hands for fear of getting germs. Others who have to constantly check that the lights have been turn off, doors locked, etc. Some have a fear of heights. This features often in comedy films where even animals have phobias, with elephants frightened of mice, cats frightened of dogs, and the like.
A common story line is to have a character that has some fear. It might be stage fright, yet they want to act. It might be fear of heights, yet their job involves working at heights. In the story of Dumbo, he finds himself up a tree, and is frightened to get down. In the 'Wizard of Oz' Dorothy and her friends are frightened of the Wizard until they discover he is just a normal person.
It is also a common idea for someone evil to play upon another person's
fears to get control over them. To some extent, advertising plays upon
our fears of getting old, not seeming fashionable, or being clever enough.
In some cases hate is similar to phobias, whereas a phobia is a fear, a hate is something you detest. In war you detest the enemy. One side will hate the other even though they do not know each other directly. The hate might be based on fear but not necessarily so. In society there are gang wars, terrorists, criminals that engender hate and are the basis for many stories. On a personal basis there are the love-hate relationships between lovers, relatives, and friends. There are also the derived hates that are picked up by emulating those around us. There are natural hates between hunters and hunted, so often used in cartoons, and of course, we can even hate ourselves, which is the basis of the Jekyll and Hyde type of stories.
In Moby Dick, Captain Ahab hated the whale, and was obsessed with killing it. Snow White's stepmother hated Snow White because she was more beautiful. Probably the most common form of hate is treachery, where someone has abused the trust of someone else who loves or trusts them.
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