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The Iceman Cometh

The Iceman Cometh


by Eugene O’Neill

The Iceman Cometh Theme of Fear

Fear drives people to do some crazy and incredible things. A healthy dose of fear might give you a head start when the Zombie Apocalypse  comes. Too much fear though can become crippling, and if you can’t move, you can’t escape the zombies. Side note: if you seriously want to outrun zombies, check out the Run for Your Lives Race.

The good people at Harry’s have reached the crippling fear phase in The Iceman Cometh. Their fears keep them from doing just about anything. The only relief from the fear comes in the form of routine that involves some pretty serious drinking. When they eventually try to conquer their fears, things do not go well. Only denial and a return to the routine can make things right again.

Questions About Fear

  1. Is Hickey afraid of anything?
  2. Why can’t Harry Hope make it around the block?
  3. What do Mosher and McGloin fear Harry will do if he takes his walk?
  4. Do you think fear brought these people to Harry’s in the first place?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Hickey says he tells his story in the end to help out the others. They think he’s telling it to relieve himself of his guilt. Is it possible though, that he’s telling it to get back on their side, because Hickey fears not being liked?

Most of the fear in Harry’s boils down to fear of the unknown. The routine holds such sway that the regulars are too afraid to face a different life of any kind. Even one in which they weren’t perpetually hungover.

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