Fear in "Haters" by David Moody

"Haters" by David Moody is something of a World War III novel. It starts with a number of people going "crazy" and murdering other people. As the novel progresses, more and more people become "crazy" and the rest of the population begins to call them haters. The term haters comes from the fact that the "crazy" people seem to be overcome with uncontrollable rage. This rage takes them so suddenly that everyone begins to fear that they, or their loved ones, will become haters at any moment and begin killing people. By the end of the novel, the world's human population is separated into two parts, the haters and everyone else. However, it is hard to tell who is really hateful and who is not. All hell, and war, has broken loose and neither side will give up until the enemy is obliterated. The cause of the "hate" is never made entirely clear. However, it is made clear that the entire fiasco is caused by fear more than hate.

Fear of the haters

Most of the first instances of fear you see in David Moody's novel involve fear of the haters. Normal people begin seeing other people commit horrific deeds, unexpectedly and with increasing frequency. People naturally become afraid of the haters. They also fear becoming a hater or having a family member become a hater. People become so fearful that they begin to behave like haters, except the violence they commit is against haters. If it were not for the fact that haters can somehow recognize each other, the line between who was a hater and who was "normal" would have become invisible by the end of the novel.

Another aspect of the fear of haters is the unknown. People are afraid that the problem is contagious. They fear they are being attacked by a biological weapon. Not knowing what is causing all of the murders is clearly making people even more fearful. However, by the end of the novel, it no longer matters what caused the chaos.

Hater fear

The "normal" people in David Moody's novel describe the haters as being filled with hate, hence the name. However, as the story unfolds, readers begin to see that they are not driven by hate, but by fear. Something triggers inside of them (this happens very quickly) that causes them to perceive everyone around them as a threat. When they commit murder, they are literally overcome with fear. In fact, they begin to think of everyone else as hateful and themselves as acting in self-defense.

"Haters" do not cause other haters to be fearful. This is how the whole epidemic gets out of control. The haters band together and begin fighting the "normal" people in groups. Both sides feel threatened enough to wage war on each other.

"Haters" by David Moody gives us a look at how fear and anger can manifest in similar ways, in this case, violence. Moody exempts no one from this fear-driven violence in his novel. Children become haters. Lovers kill their spouses. Strangers randomly attack one another. It is literally a free-for-all of negative feelings. Oddly, the hate in "Haters" only comes out in the end, when both sides realize that they cannot coexist.  

Shelly Barclay

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