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Conflict in Literature Originally by gherm6 (just added some examples)

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1 Conflict in Literature Originally by gherm6 (just added some examples)

2 What is “conflict” in a story? *problem *tension *good vs. evil

3 Why is CONFLICT important?  Without conflict, there is no plot!  The plot is created around the conflict…  The conflict is introduced in rising action…  Is faced head-on during climax…  Begins to work itself out during falling action…  Is resolved during resolution.

4 EXTERNAL CONFLICT  An external conflict is between a character and an outside force.  Man vs. Man  Man vs. Nature  Man vs. Society

5 MAN vs. MAN  A character struggles with another character.  Protagonist vs. Antagonist  The classic “good guy” vs. “bad guy” situation  A character will be opposed by or will oppose the actions, reactions, motivations of another character or characters.

6 For example, in Hamlet, Hamlet is involved in a conflict with his uncle, King Claudius, who seeks to have Hamlet killed. Example of Man Versus Man Conflict

7 Swami and Friends by R.K.Narayanan. “Oh wretched idiots!,” the teacher said, clenching his fists, “Why do you worship dirty, lifeless, wooden idols and stone images? Can they talk? No. Can they see? No. Can they take you to heaven? No. What did your Gods do when Mohammed of Gazni smashed them to pieces, trod upon them, and constructed out of them steps for his lavatory?... Example of Man Versus Man Conflict

8 Now see our Lord Jesus. He could cure the sick, relieve the poor, and take us to Heaven. He was a real God. … Did our Jesus go about dancing with girls like your Krishna? Did our Jesus go about stealing butter like that arch-scoundrel Krishna? “ The teacher paused for breath. Swaminathan’s blood boiled. He got up and asked, “If he did not, why was he crucified?”

9 MAN vs. NATURE  A character struggles with a force of nature (natural disaster, desolation, animal, etc.)  Usually, the character is struggling to survive.

10 The excerpt below is from Life of Pi by Yann Martel and a great part of the book is set in the middle of the sea. The ship sank. It made a sound like a monstrous metallic burp. Things bubbled at the surface and then vanished. Everything was screaming: the sea, the wind, my heart. From the lifeboat I saw something in the water Example of Man Versus Nature Conflict

11 I cried, "Richard Parker, is that you? It's so hard to see. Oh, that this rain would stop! Richard Parker? Richard Parker? Yes, it is you!" I could see his head. He was struggling to stay at the surface of the water. "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you, Richard Parker! Don't give up, please. Come to the lifeboat. Do you hear this whistle? TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE! TREEEEEE!

12 MAN vs. SOCIETY  In this conflict, a character or a group of characters fight against the society in which they live.  The character fights against social traditions or rules (fight for freedom, rights, for a cause etc.)  Society becomes a “character” of its own  Usually used to comment on positive or negative aspects of real society.

13 The excerpt below is from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It is the story set in a fictional town in America at a time when racial discrimination was at its height. “Scout,” said Atticus, “nigger lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything. It’s hard to explain – ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody is favouring Negroes over and above themselves...”

14 “You aren’t really a nigger lover are you?” “ I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody. It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. So don’t let Mrs. Dubose get you down…”

15 INTERNAL CONFLICT  An internal conflict is between a character and his/her self.  Man vs. Self

16 MAN vs. SELF  The character’s struggle takes place in his/her own mind.  Usually has something to do with a choice (choosing between right and wrong), or it may have to do with overcoming emotions or mixed feelings.

17 The below excerpt from Gora by Tagore is an example of a momentary internal conflict. “…as the cab drove away, the girl joined her hands in a brief namaskar. Utterly unprepared for this gesture, Binoy remained frozen, unable to respond. Back home, he repeatedly cursed himself for this minor lapse.

18 Scrutinizing his own conduct in their company from their first encounter to the moment of parting, he felt that his manner had been rather uncivil. He tormented himself with futile thoughts of what he could have said or done at specific moments.”

19 OTHER TYPES OF CONFLICT  Man vs. Supernatural  Gods, ghosts, monsters, spirits, aliens, etc.  Man vs. Fate  Fight for choice; fight against destiny  Man vs. Technology  Computers, machines, etc.


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