The idea of the child being something to fear is a compelling one. Usually when you think of children you think of innocence, not something to be weary of. I believe the idea of a child being "evil" is more feared than say an adult being evil is because it is the unexpected.
John Calhoun puts into very thoughtful words why Eli is so terribly frightening.
He says Eli “is a repository of adult fears about children, who are so like us yet in crucial ways so different, who are both vulnerable and demanding, and in touch with the id in ways that can elicit great anxiety and discomfort, especially when sexual stirrings begin to take form” (27).
I want to explore this passage more in depth because in so few words Calhoun is able to explain this age old fear. First off the part where he talks about a child being so like an adult but yet so different really brings up the reason we fear them adults fear them so much. If a child does something an adult can no way define it's frightening because all adults were once children. We should know or at least have an idea of what the child is all about. For a child to act in a way that is impossible for an adult to fathom is to make that child seem almost inhuman.
Next it seems very appropriate that Calhoun mentions Id. Freud had many theories about children an why they do what they do. He says that they are on their Id stage which basically means that children are for the most part selfish. This makes sense as to why Calhoun mentions the demands the child has.
Calhoun also mentions the difficulties for the child when they begin having sexual feelings. This statement also relates to Freud and his belief that all children have sexual feelings towards their parent of the opposite sex. This idea is often times disturbing to consider which could also make adults weary of children.
Overall Calhoun's essay had of fearing the child is intereting but also a completely founded idea.