2006 — 6th Grade 4th Place

Anthony Tokman, California

When given the question "which is more powerful, fear or hope", the first answer that comes to mind is probably hope, but is hope really as powerful as fear? The question does not ask which of them, fear or hope, is more positive. It asks which generates more power in the mind. They both are strong, but fear is stronger. Fear is an emotion that causes you to lose many of your senses due to certain conditions, and become a person beyond what you normally are. Fear controls people more than hope. Hope just adds to your other ideas in your mind, while fear takes control of them.

Fear, most of the time, changes your behavior. You can be controlled by fear your whole life. You can feel like you are no longer commanding your body and let fear take over your senses. It can tarnish other ideas like a thick black paint. "He who fears something gives it power over him," says a Moorish proverb. Fear can turn you into a person of depression and aggressiveness. Not many men are strong enough to overcome fear in all situations.

Hope, on the other hand, does not control your actions. Compared to fear, hope is a weak human emotion. Although hope can often help a person overcome difficulties, it does not generally take full control of the person's behavior, like fear can.

Fear does not need to have dominance over the whole mind to show its strength. Fear can be powerful in minute quantities. It can still lead to temporary misery. The way it can be imagined is that when fear is introduced into the mind, it replaces one, or many good qualities. That is how it works. Takes away good, and brings in its own devastating power.

In conclusion, hope is purely a good trait added to your mind. It takes little control and does not take over other ideas I your mind. Fear, though, is more powerful because it actually can, and often does, change your actions. Sometimes it could be positive, yet mostly it is negative. Even in diminutive amounts, fear has great power.

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear." -H.P. Lovecraft

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