"I must say a word about fear. It is life's only opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know it. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics And a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. You anxiety becomes dread.
Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. You muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shakes as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay close attention to fear.
Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.
The matter is difficult to out into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words in which to speak of it. So you must fight hard t express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you." -Chapter 56
"My face set to a grim and determined expression. I speak in all modesty when I say this, but I discovered at that moment that I have a fierce will to live. It's not something evident, in my experience, Some of us give up on life with only a resigned sigh. Other fight a little, then lose hope. Still others -and I am one of those- never give up. We fight and fight and fight. We fight no matter the cost of battle, the losses we take the improbability of success. We fight to the very end. It's not a question of courage. It's something constitutional. an inability to let go. It may be nothing more than life-hungry stupidity." p.148, chapter 53
I'm almost finished with the book. I really enjoyed it thus far. Very moving. I even got teary a bit because I too, am vegetarian. [thos who have read, know of which i am speaking]
And I'm curious, was this based on a true story or is it complete ficiton?
Also, to those who have read: how do you think M. Night Shamalan will do turning this into a film?