Conflict in Literature
Internal Conflict Definition:
A struggle that takes place in a character's mind is called internal conflict.
Internal Conflict is … NOT a visual or tangible (physically touch) opposition. a character dealing with his or her own mixed feelings or emotions.
Example of Internal Conflict
A character may have to decide between right and wrong or between two solutions to a problem.
Type of Internal Conflict
Man vs. himself Internal conflict is often referred to as man vs. himself since the struggle is inside one’s head.
Man vs. Himself Examples
Susan vs. her worry of losing a game. Jim vs. his fear of failing Kasey vs. her laziness
External Conflict Definition:
A struggle between a character and an outside force is an external conflict.
External Conflict Characters may face several types of outside forces.
The outside force may be another character. It may be the character and the community. The outside force may also be forces of nature. For example, a story might be the main character struggling against the arctic cold.
Types of External Conflict
Man vs. Man Man vs. Environment
Man vs. Man This is mostly seen in the form of two characters against each other. It can also be represented by a group of people. It does not have to be a physical confrontation; it can be a battle between two ideas.
Man vs. Man Examples Stacey disagreeing with Terri. (Stacey vs. Terri)
Man vs. Environment Environment is defined as anything surrounding a person. This can include weather, objects, activities. Basically anything external EXCEPT people.
Man vs. Environment Examples
Jerry trying to get home in a hurricane (Jerry vs. Environment).
Conflict Quick Review Internal Conflict External Conflict
MAN VS. HIMSELF MAN VS. MAN MAN VS. ENVIRONMENT *not tangible *other characters *any outside force *in the mind *not just physical confrontation *anything in surroundings *decisions, feelings, emotions *opposing ideas *weather, objects, activities
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