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Conflict Assignment ~ Wonder by R.J Palacio
Transcript of Conflict Assignment ~ Wonder by R.J Palacio
Man vs. Self conflict. I find this form of conflict to be the most profound form of conflict. The development of characters, the tense confusion within themselves, it can greatly affect the morals and plots of a story. Combating yourself, though towards other people you may appear fine but in the inside there’s a war raging. To overcome these battles, you must take it to another level, bringing it out, talking about it. That is what is demonstrated within my two examples of similar conflict from a book and from the news. When there is turmoil within oneself, your beliefs and morals fail, they all turn into contradictions. It’s hard to differentiate the wrong and the good when all you have are blurred thoughts. When the two people suffering from inner conflict set new resolutions, the confusion fell, and they obtained new goals and resolutions. Man vs. Self conflict is dangerous to keep it contained; the turmoil piles up and the problem keeps getting more compact and dense. Though not in relationship with anyone but your own morals, inner conflict is as important a conflict in a story line as any other form of conflict.
The example of Man vs. Self conflict in the book in my book is based on a very important main/supporting character. Via, the elder sister of August, the young boy with facial deformities. At one point in the book, it explains her perspectives of things. It puts it like this, “When Mom or Dad ask me how things are going in school, I’ve always said “good”-even when it hasn’t always been so good. My worst day, worst fall, worst headache, worst bruise, worst cramp, worst mean thing anyone could say has always been nothing compared to what August has gone through.”-Page 83. “And this is the way it’s always been for me, for the little universe of us. But this year there seems to be a shift in the cosmos. The galaxy is changing. Planets are falling out of alignment.”-Page 83. These quotes meaningfully state how Via’s life has always, been; she’s always been second to August; she needs to be independent and understanding. She refers her world as the galaxy, August being the sun and everyone orbiting around him, but when things changes, she refers to it as planets falling out of alignment. Though she has never felt it before, she soon realizes the dread in herself. The wish that August was normal, and that her grandmother (the one who cared about her most) was gone and how she’s losing her best friends and support in high school. Overall, her inner turmoil is from the desire and her secondary position in her family.
Mental Illness, depression, anxiety. All problems in many people’s healthy being. Kevin Breel. He expresses his own experience of depression, for no apparent reason, the stress got to him, he was scared. "It was about the fear of being able to tell people about what I was feeling. I felt trapped. My deepest struggles had become my darkest secrets and those secrets were suffocating me."-Page 1. The conflict that he was keeping inside. It kept building up but he was scared to bring his problems out. This led to him almost committing suicide. It wasn’t that he wanted to die; it’s just that his mental health was killing him from the inside out. “The depression "would come and go," Breel said.”But every time it came back, it was worse. I used drugs and alcohol to try to escape my own headspace. It was a negative loop. That made me regress more and more."-Page 1. He was stuck; until he talked to his friends, his family and even a therapist did he start to feel better about himself. He embarked on a journey to help others who suffered like him, such as through Ted Talks. He encouraged others that there were reasons to live. He got a new resolution, one to help others; this inspired many to live up to their full potential, to get help if they are suffering like he was. Like Via, without letting it all go, he wouldn’t have been able to escape from himself. His turmoil was trapped inside, the stress, the worry and everything condensed in a huge clump of depression.
The similarities? Both of them suffered, the pain kept on growing inside. Via’s friends were drifting away, her parents spending more time with August for the entire run, the turmoil was too much for her. “Just leave me alone, okay? You’ve been really good about leaving me alone my whole life, so why you choose high school to suddenly be interested I have no idea…”Then I don’t know what Mom answered because it all got very quiet”-Page 216. ““You would know if you had come back to check on me,” I said spitefully, “like you said you would.” “Oh God, Via,” said Mom, remembering now how she had completely ditched me last night.”-Pg 101. Her mother forgetting her, the stress of high school, it got to her. Her grandmother was very dear to her, she wished that she did not die, but she did. Via felt secluded and alone, no one to talk to. So as time progressed, there was more man vs. self conflict in the book than when you first perceive it. This is just like the conflict of depression inside Kevin Breel.
Similar to both of them, once they started talking with family, everything seemed alright again, the world was still in place and the turmoil stopped. “Breel said he made a choice that night to stay alive and to do something to make a change. He spoke to family, friends, his coach, and ultimately, a therapist.”-Page 1 of article. “Via had this big crying meltdown about something. Via’s always been so calm and cool, but this year she’s had a couple of these kinds of fits. Dad was late for work and was like, “Via, let’s go! Let’s go!” Usually Dad is super patient about things, but not when it comes to his being late for work, and his yelling just stressed out Via even more, and she started crying louder, so Mom told Dad to take me to school and that she’d deal with Via.”-Page 74. The flow of Via’s life is similar to this, her eventually opening up to people yet it takes a while for her to take back control of her life. Eventually she opens up to everyone, regains her friendship and takes control of her life and her relationship with others, once again like Breel. v
Reason why it's man vs. self conflict 1
The reasons why these conflicts aren’t man vs. man is because they are battling they’re own beliefs, not others. Though in Wonder, Via’s inner conflict isn’t one of the biggest conflicts in the plot, I found it to be crucial in the development and appearance of characters. Her conflict with herself mainly affects her own judgment, and it also affects other members of her family and her friends. Though it also affects others, it started with her combating her own beliefs, whether if she needs to change or if she needs to walk a new path. Miranda and Ella, the girls she hung out with before high school. They drifted apart once they all reached high school, finding new trends and becoming part of new groups. Ella and Miranda become part of the “popular” group while she’s left behind. This tore her up inside, she felt all alone. Since her little brother started school in grade 5, things start to change. She’s all caught up in it all, stress and sadness forms inside of her. Inside of her, that gives an obvious clue that’s she’s combating herself and her decisions, not the people who might’ve been the source of her turmoil. In the end, it’s obvious that Via’s man vs. self conflict is a conflict against herself, not against another person.
Reason why it's man vs. self conflict 11
Kevin Breel’s mental illness is an obvious form of man vs. self conflict. It was his choice and his choice alone to decide to live to help others, not to die of depression. He decided to seek help, he talked with others. Though his recovery involved direct interactions with others, the conflict it self was within himself, it was in him and came from him, and it wasn’t from the outside. Man vs. Self conflict may be influenced from the outside, but if it’s with yourself, it’s not with someone else; it’s a fight against yourself.
Different things, different aspects. Though my article and example from the book are quite similar, they aren’t too different but have their distinctions. Via’s inner conflict is caused directly from people in her life which is causing controversy in her beliefs. She confronts everyone in her life and reclaims her life. However, Breel simply had a bad case of depression that he was afraid to admit. Their sources were different, but turmoil in them were similar, they were both at the point of the stress completely overtaking them. The conflict’s differences are their causes but they’re procedure and how they were dealt with are relatively the same.
In the end, my two examples of man vs. self conflict were quite similar. Both of them were suffering from their deep conflicts; depressions, loss, etc. They were both confused and lost. Via contradicted her long lasting belief, that she hated how everyone looked at her little brother, with his distorted face. But when she goes to high school, she wants to start on a clean slate, no one knew about her brother. She tries to keep her desire to keep it that way contradicts herself and when more problems arrive (school play, relationship with friends), she’s lost as to who’s in control of her life. Similar to Kevin Breel’s case, they both re-established control of their lives, they both had new morals, and there wasn’t a clean slate. There was a slate written anew in both their resolutions. The conflict within them provided them with new opportunities, which moved the story line in Wonder and gave Kevin a new resolution of life. Man vs. self conflict is quite profound and is apparent in Wonder and in our world.