Conflict drives a story. It forces the characters into action, and the suspense the conflict creates keeps the audience reading to find out what happens. Please revisit the pdf on Plot posted in Section 1 to refresh your memory on the role the conflict plays in short stories before taking on the following assignment.
In literature there are two general types of conflict:
Internal conflict takes place inside a character when they are forced to wrestle with a decision or choice. Internal conflicts can deal with a character trying to figure out some aspect of their identity or they may involve a character having to make a difficult choice.
External conflict takes place between characters or between a character and the outside world. External conflicts can manifest as disagreements between spouses, fistfights between siblings, struggles between employees and their bosses, the possibilities are endless. External conflicts can also manifest as a character facing some sort of challenge: the rent is due, there is a mountain to climb, a crime to commit, a test to take, etc.
Many stories will contain either internal or external conflicts, but the best stories will utilize a blend of both.
For this week’s discussion board, I want you to specifically identify the internal and external conflicts of each story in the reading list, using quoted material as evidence to your claims where possible. Look over the pdf on Plot in Section 1 and use this to help you identify whether the conflicts in the stories are character vs. character, character vs. society, character vs. nature, character vs. fate, or character vs. machine. Notice how the stories this week tend to focus on conflicts of race and social class. You should take at least a paragraph to outline your analysis of the conflict in each story and you should utilize quotes from the text with MLA style documentation.