I offer the example of Anna, the character of Chekhov’s “Anna on the neck” who fears of something.
Before wedding 18-year-old Anna had avoided being kissed by her fiance of fifty-two. Depiction of that man frightened her. He was “stout and puffy”. His “chin looked like the heel of a foot.” He had “fat cheeks, quivering like jelly.”
After wedding Anna “troubled that at any moment this man might kiss her with his thick damp lips, and that she had no right to prevent his doing so.”
Anna realized to her dismay that she got married to a rich man and yet, she had no money. Her family had run up a debt to buy the wedding dress for Anna. And then her brothers and father (her mother died) went into starvation.
At dinner Anna listening to Modest Alexevitch (her husband) was frightened. He put forth some guidelines for family life “not being a pleasure but duty”. He ate a lot himself and talked about prohibition of spending money. “And holding his knife in his fist as though it were a sword, he would say:
– Every one ought to have his duties!”
Modest Alexevitch reflected every Anna’s former terror. She was afraid of the director of the high school, the teachers, His Exellency and others, less imposing people. They seemed to being terrifying forces. She imagined that all these forces mixed together into one shape: the form of a terrible huge bear. She found weak people were intimidated by that creature.
After some time Anna changed herself into such terrible bear. She discovered the weakest point in her husband. Then she was convinced that no harm would come to her from her behaviour. The first Anna’s rude sentence addressed to her husband was: “Be off, you blockhead!”
Anna transformed her life into picnics, expeditions and performances. She partook in everyday festivities. “From this time forward (…) She needed a very great deal of money, but she was no longer afraid of Modest Alexeitch, and spent his money as though it were her own; and she did not ask, did not demand it, simply sent him in the bills. or “ Anna was spending a lot of money on herself. She didn’t give it to poor father and brothers.
Such a makeover do not signal the change of personality. It only exposes the specific nature of fear.