Scared to Death: the Role of Fear in Miller Williams’ “Thinking About Bill, Dead of Aids.”

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Choley
Words 1042
Pages 5
Anne Carson once said “I wanted to find one law to cover all of living. I found fear.” Miller Williams’ poem “Thinking about Bill, Dead of AIDS” expresses specific ways in which fear impacts a person when faced with a painful situation, regarding HIV/AIDS in particular, when articulating the experience of the speaker losing a loved one to AIDS. When it comes to human suffering and overcoming affliction, fear prevents one from surviving, understanding, and accepting the tragedy in which they are suffering from. To start, Miller Williams’ poem, “Thinking about Bill, Dead of AIDS,” begins with looking at the concept of suffering in a physical sense, rather than in its emotional form, We did not know the first thing about how blood surrenders to even the smallest threat when old allergies turn inside out, the body rescinding all its normal orders to all defenders of flesh, betraying the head, pulling its guards back from all its borders (Williams 1-6)
The stanzas illustrate that the body is unable to relieve a person from the pain that is being inflicted upon them. When the sickness is too severe, fear takes over the body and, as Williams described the action in the poem, “surrenders” to the illness (Williams 2). Fear can penetrate much deeper than the mere imagination of the human mind. When one is paralyzed by stage fright, or rendered speechless when faced with the task of delivering heart wrenching truth, that is only the surface of the water. The poem illustrates that the immune system of the human body can also shut down when faced with a force capable of greater strength, resulting in death and ultimately, failure to prevail over the affliction. In the third stanza of Williams’ poem “Thinking about Bill, Dead of AIDS,” the speaker describes the condition in which others treat “Bill” during his time of illness. Williams writes: “Thinking of friends…...

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