I'M Not Scared - the Role Fear Plays on Moral Instincts

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Niccolo Ammaniti demonstrates in his popular novel, 'I'm Not Scared', the role fear plays in people’s lives and their respective decisions. He discusses how fear is able to manipulate key character's moral instincts and distort their interpretations of what is right. Fear is shown to be an extremely powerful underlying contributor to many of the situations that the characters find themselves in and the paths they chose to follow.

Teresa, Pino and all the other adults of Aqua Traverse perfectly display the role fear has on people's moral instincts. Though to begin with, the kidnapping was based on greed, towards the end of the novel it's evident that greed is no longer the desire of the crime. It's fear that now manipulates these characters actions and not only the fear of being caught, but fear of the consequences once they are discovered. Michele is able to compare these fears to the fear he has for the green lizard, who ‘...spits to try and scare you because really they are more scared of you,’. Fear eventually consumes Pino once he shoots his own son, thus loosing more than he initially sought to gain by participating in the kidnapping. Henceforth, Pino does not come to accept that there's nothing wrong with being scared and therefore he is no longer able to differentiate between moral rights and wrongs.

However, other characters in this novel prove to be motivated by another type of fear. Despite his 'tough' exterior and bullying ways, Skull -also known as Antonio Natale- is controlled by his fear of not fitting in and being accepted by others. He genuinely believes he must maintain his alpha male ways, in order to be accepted by his peers. This includes the constant bullying of Barbra and demeaning attitude towards the other children. Unfortunately Skull is also unable to come to accept his fears, and therefore looses sense of knowing what is right. Ironically, Skull's fears lead to the fear that the other kids have of him. Michele often recalls,...
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