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Conflicts in Literature

Different types of conflicts through the years in Literature
by

Mike Brown

on 21 December 2012

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Transcript of Conflicts in Literature

Conflicts in Literature Throughout the Years Four Different Types of Conflicts Man Against Self Conflict Different Types of Conflicts Man Against Man In the "man against self"conflict, the struggle is usually internal, when a character must overcome his/her own demons, and make a choice to go down one of two paths- good or evil, or logical or emotional. The novel "Requiem for a Dream" deals with stories of addiction, while in William Faulkner's "The Bear", the young boy in the story has doubts about himself, which eventually seem to overwhelm him. An example of "man against self" in the movies can be seen in "Bridget Jones's Diary", where the title character deals with her own self doubts and neuroses. Man against nature is also an external conflict,
which puts the hero of the work against an
animal , a weather event, or any other force
of nature. For example, this "man versus
nature" conflict is central in many of Ernest
Hemingway's novels, particularly "The Old
Man and the Sea", where the hero is in conflict
with a marlin. A more recent example is the non-fiction work "The Perfect Storm" by Sebastian Junger, which pits a group of fishermen against a killer wave. This type of conflict exists when man stands up against a man-made institution, (such as slavery or bullying). This type of conflict many times can also shade into "man versus man". This conflict exists when the hero is forced to make a moral choice, or is frustrated by rules of society in meeting his/her goals. Examples of this type of conflict are found in "Fahrenheit 451" and "Charlotte's Web", where a pig fights for his survival in a society who uses him as food. In literature, conflict is an inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces. Conflict creates tension and interest in a story by adding doubt as to the outcome. A story is not always limited to a single conflict. While conflicts may not always be resolved, the resolution of a conflict creates closure, which may or may not occur at a story's end. The basic types of conflict in fiction have been classified over the years as "man against man", "man against nature", "man against self" and "man against society". However, there are other types of conflicts that have come to light over the years both in literature and movies. They include "man against the machine" ("Brave New World"), "man against fate" ("Slaughterhouse Five") and "man against the supernatural" ("The Shinning"). We will be looking at only the four basic types of conflict. This conflict involves stories where
characters are opposite each other,
an example of external conflict. It
could involve direct involvement (such
as a gunfight or a robbery), or it can be
more subtle and deal with romance or
family, which is very common in fairy
tales or myths. An example of this
type of conflict can be seen in Mark
Twain's "The Adventures of Tom
Sawyer" Man Against Man Man Against Society Man Against Nature Man Against Self Man Against Nature Man Against Society Brief History of Conflict We find conflict in literature as far back as ancient Greek mythology, where it was called "agon" or central contest in a tragedy. Both Aristotle and Plutarch write about this conflict or "agon", which would later evolve to the "protagonist" (the hero) and the "antagonist" (the villain). Internal and External Conflict The four types of conflict are divided into two divisions: external and internal conflict. External conflict takes place outside of the body, while internal conflict takes place inside the body and the mind. Man versus man, man versus nature and man versus society are all external conflicts, while man versus self is an example of internal conflict. External Conflict Internal Conflict As you can see, conflict in Literature and films has been around for thousands of years. Many great works by many great writers have contained conflict as a focal point of their work. Conflict is alive and well today as we can see in popular books such as"Game of Thrones" and "The Hunger Games". Conclusion The End
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