The fear of death is the backside of the fear of life. And Esther, like a child, is fearful of life. By not expressing this and giving vent to her feelings, in some attempt to declare the validity of her reality, her life, she is thrust back to her fears and then to the ultimate fear: fear of dying. This is more than merely a fear of death, or a fear of life. This is more than anxiety or depression. This is some kind of love for, or addiction for, one's own end. Perhaps this is truly the death instinct. And even though we might say that everyone has this and that anyone might succumb to it, given the right set of circumstances, some people — for example, Plath — have this instinct pervasively and continuously, and rarely does the life instinct overpower it. In Ernest Becker's
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.