Quite often it’s the not so life-threatening confrontation with life that we feel most threatened by. The standard of human fear is thus without definition. Everyone lays claim to a different host of particular sensitivities. We all have them, though. Ranging from the emotional to the physical, trepidations fill the void in us humans. They make us. They define us. They control us. There’s no doubt fear constitutes the greatest influence on the everyday person. In the excerpt of Wolff’s Hunters in the Snow, Tub’s fears explicate underlying character traits. From his fear of confronting Kenny and Frank decisively to his fear of death, Wolff indirectly elucidates the fundamentals of Tub’s deceptive streak, anti-combativeness, and child-like sensitivity.
Tub's Deception in Hunters in the Snow:
In an act of desperation, Tub lies about being on a diet. When Kenny inquires about his supposed diet (noticing Tub has not lost any weight but is eating diet type foods) Tub shoots back. “You think I like hard-boiled eggs?” Tub exclaims in defense. Here, Tub’s plan of deceit meets perhaps unpredicted consequences, however, as Frank sneeringly points out that Tub “hasn’t seen his own balls in ten years”, and the two jokesters have a good laugh over Tub’s predicament. Obviously Tub suffers from the constant want to appeal to others, and is willing to use whatever means necessary to be accepted. He fears others. Most likely stemming from the chronic mistreatment he receives from Frank and Kenny on the subject of his weight and ineptitude, Tub has developed a drive to reshape his image. It’s a form of defense, his yearning for love and approval, which has evolved over time in response to environmental factors of abuse. Continuing the act, Tub declares his “glands” are responsible for his physical deformity. And likewise, the two so called friends “double over laughing”. Tub tries to validate his deceit by implying that he has lost weight. “You’re just wasting away before my...
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