“Fear” Summary and Important Questions/Answers

Summary of the Story “Fear”

Fear” is a psychological story set in Puebla, Mexico, highlighting how fear and anxiety can cloud judgment and lead to irrational behavior. The main character, Armando Gonzalez, is a hardworking, honest, nervous, uneducated man working at a shoe shop.

He supports a family of nine, including his wife, six children, and his mother-in-law. After twenty years of diligent work, Armando and his wife, Eva, have saved 50,132 pesos, which they plan to use to buy a house.

One day, Armando goes to the Bank of Mexico to withdraw 50,000 pesos in cash. The bank teller’s loud questions and counting of the money make him extremely nervous.

He mistakenly believes that everyone in the bank knows the large sum he is withdrawing. In his anxiety, he puts his hat on backward, which attracts even more attention from the people around him.

Outside the bank, while waiting for the bus, Armando notices a heavy man who had looked at him twice in the bank. He becomes convinced that the man is following him to rob him.

This fear intensifies when the heavy man boards the same bus as Armando. Trying to avoid being robbed, Armando decides to get off the bus and take another route. However, his panic escalates when three teenage boys, who had been talking to the heavy man, also get off at the same stop.

Armando, now certain that the boys are part of a gang sent to rob him, starts running and crying out for help. He stumbles into a junkyard, where the boys approach him.

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To his surprise, they explained that they were just students who were asking the heavy man for directions. They followed Armando because he seemed to need help. Realizing his mistake, Armando feels both relieved and embarrassed by his irrational fears.

“Fear” is a story that delves into the psychological impact of anxiety. Armando’s experiences show how fear can distort reality, leading to unnecessary panic and misjudgment.

The story emphasizes that while fear is a natural response, it can sometimes be misplaced and cause more harm than the situation warrants. Armando’s journey from panic to relief underscores the importance of staying calm and thinking clearly in stressful situations.

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Short Questions and Answers

Why did Armando feel that everyone in the bank was watching him?

Armando felt that everyone in the bank was watching him because the bank teller counted his money loudly and asked him several questions. This increased his anxiety, making him believe that people were aware of the large sum he was withdrawing. Additionally, he put his hat on backward, drawing further attention to himself.

What were some factors that contributed to Armando’s fear of being robbed?

Several factors contributed to Armando’s fear, including:
1. The loud counting of his money by the bank teller.
2. His nervousness about carrying a large amount of cash.
3. The heavy man looks at him twice and then follows him.
4. The three teenage boys talk to the heavy man and get off at the same bus stop as Armando.

How did Armando react when he saw the heavy man on the bus?

Armando became extremely nervous and fearful when he saw the heavy man on the bus. He believed the man was following him to rob him. This fear led him to decide to get off the bus and take another route to avoid the perceived threat.

What happened when the three boys approached Armando in the junkyard?

When the three boys approached Armando in the junkyard, he cried out for help, believing they were going to rob him. However, the boys explained that they were just students who had taken the wrong bus and were following him to offer help because he seemed distressed.

What lesson does Armando learn by the end of the story?

By the end of the story, Armando learns that his fear is unfounded and that he has misjudged the situation and the people around him. The experience taught him the importance of staying calm and thinking clearly, even in stressful situations, to avoid unnecessary panic and misjudgment.

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