This mini-essay explores how fear is used to control a small religiously fanatic community in "The Rapture of Canaan" by Sheri Reynolds.

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Using Fear to Control Herman Langston dominates the isolated South Carolina community of believers, enforcing rigid behavioral laws and meting out harsh punishments for transgressions. This journal will discuss how he wrongly uses fear to govern, and ultimately control the community of the church of Fire and Brimstone. The tribulation, according to Grandpa Herman, founder of Fire and Brimstone, will be an ugly time: "He said that we'd run out of food. That big bugs …

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…a guide for people. It shows us how we are supposed to conduct oursleves, and how to live. It ultimately shows us that God is merciful, and no matter what, if you accept God' gift, there will be a place made for us in Heaven. This is ironic when you think of Herman's lectures on Hell and damnation. In conclusion, one must ask themself: is instilling fear really the best way to promote ethical behavior?