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habitually and remarkably in one direction. Thus with the man F., who has quick imagination, and whose
ability to forecast is inextricably mixed with a liability to fear. It is true that some do not fear because they do
not foresee, and that placidity and calmness are less often due to courage than to lack of imagination.
F. feared animals excessively as a child and injury to himself as a boy, so that he played few rough games. To
a large extent his parents fostered this fear in him by carefully guarding and watching him, by putting him
through that neurasthenic regimen so brilliantly described by Arthur Guiterman in his story of the aseptic pup.
Yet he had a brother as carefully brought up as himself who became a rough-and-tumble lad, with as little
likelihood to fear as any boy. So that we may only assume that F.'s training fostered fear in him; it did not
At the age of thirteen the fear of death entered F.'s life, the occasion being the death of an uncle. The
mourning, the quick fleeting sight of the dead man in the black box, the interment of the once vigorous,
joyous man in the earth struck terror into the heart of the boy. From that time much of his life was controlled
by his struggles with the fear of death, and his history is his reaction to that fear. At fourteen he astonished his
free-thinking family by becoming a devout Christian, by praying, attending church regularly and by becoming
so moral in his conduct as to warrant the belief that there was something wrong with him. Indeed, had a
psychiatrist examined him at this time, there is no doubt he would have diagnosed his condition as a
beginning Dementia Precox. But he was not; he simply was compensating for his fear of death.
At sixteen he entered an academy where he was forced to go into athletics. The fear of injury and death
plagued him so that he broke down, but this breakdown did not last long, and he reentered athletics and did
fairly well. Indeed, in order to break himself of fear, he became outwardly a rather daring gymnast, hoping
that what he had so often read of the sickly and puny becoming strong and vigorous through training would be
true of him. As s...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11