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Conflict in Literature

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Imagine yourself sitting in class, ridiculously bored. You are reading a novel when you suddenly lose control of yourself and fall asleep. Although your teacher probably finds the obnoxious snoring very beautiful, she awakens you with a punitive tone and tells you to keep reading. “What could be missing from this excessively long book? ” you ask yourself; conflict is missing. Conflict in literature provides a way to enrich any piece of fiction or non-fiction writing, it keeps you guessing. Conflict truly gives the reader a reason for each eagerly turned page.

The definition of the one word, conflict, creates much controversy because there are ultimately an infinite number of interpretations. From internal to external, or physical to psychological, we love to read about it and relate to it. Without conflict, literature and history would not have such an impact on our lives today. Internal conflict demonstrates man versus himself; a struggle within oneself that may have an external impetus. Mitch Albom, the author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven, writes about the main character and the internal guilt he feels for not succeeding in saving a young girl.

In his desperate attempt to rescue her from a fire, Eddie fails and falls short of his personal expectations of his insufficient life. This strife proves so difficult that he carries it with him into his afterlife, where he finally finds relief from the agony he had so long felt. Struggle of this nature demonstrates the unsolved imperfections we have within ourselves, wanting to live up to the idea of Fitzsimmons 2 strength and great achievement that our society exhibits. In life, people around you can arouse the battle of internal conflict.

In many cases we can be let down and disappointed by the people you admire. When you put love into your relationship with a person, you being to respect them and adore the characteristics they behold. In the way Hamlet is dismayed by his mothers secretly philandering acts, internal conflict is shown brought on by someone important to him. Furthermore, Hamlet was bereft and distressed after witnessing his beloved uncle murder his very own father. The disconsolation he carried within himself directly creates a struggle not only unbearable, but so intense that the playwright of Hamlet,

William Shakespeare, became one of the most namely playwrights in the history of literature. Disharmony also bears the mutual dissatisfaction between two people or groups of people. A conflict has no mutual agreement or general understanding. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird conveys conflict dealing with racism. The unsettled disputes during that time between merely black and white people created conflict among more than just the two racial groups. A colored man faces trial by jury for the sexual assault and rape of a young Caucasian woman.

When Atticus Finch, a white male defends the man as his lawyer, segregation seems to divide the people of the town. Unsettled matter such as the obscene threats and danger Atticus’ family was put under Fitzsimmons 3 sets a strong example of conflict. The people disagree and are then scornful of one another. To think that a problem will last forever is uncanny. Although the issue itself may not have settlement, there are possible ways to make peace for yourself. Poet Arthur Hugh Clough wrote the poem “Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth.

Clough openly speaks of the intellectual relief even when brawls have yet to end and flaws have yet to change. The first verse reads, ” Say not the struggle nought availed, The labor and the wounds are vain, The enemy faints not, nor faileth, And as things have been they remain. ” Clough is purely desperate for mercy from this never ending problem. His enemy has not yet failed and nothing has changed nor become of better condition. In life it is easy to feel as though you cannot overcome obstacles, you feel stuck as though nothing has or will ever change.

In these instances if you cannot compromise with your adversary, you must accept that things will stay the same and find happiness in other elements of life. Clough follows to his last verse where he has made peace, and I quote, ” And not by eastern windows only, When daylight comes, comes in the light, In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land is bright. ” The symbolism of the sun rising not only in the east unveils the thought that although not everything with your peers and life are balanced, ou can still find joy and satisfaction to the mind.

His choice of words says that things remain and the enemy has not failed, but you can progress, living a full life disregarding hardships and hostility others have placed upon you. Fitzsimmons 4 For a further look at the true effect of conflict, look close to home at what takes place presently. The United States troops currently reside in Iraq to form a Democratic government there. As our own governing body, we the people have the freedom to speak about our opinions.

This right naturally compels forces to collide. While some people support our troops, others believe we are wasting time and money to be in Iraq. This controversy poses jeopardy to the invulnerability of our union. Democrats disagree with Republicans and although protest and public rejections can lead to violence, these instances still take place. This can seem negligible compared to the events going on over seas, but all in all they are both conflicts; a combat formed by the mistreatment and disagreements of two forces.

People in our world today are highly influenced by literature and history. Without the conflict within these writing and events however, it would not have such a significant part in our society today. Every day we learn so much from the struggle of one person or past events. So imagine yourself sitting in class, obviously you are very bored. When your teacher wakes you up and asks why you are sleeping, you will not answer with ” I am tired. “, simply you can say, ” Mrs. Dailey, this books has no conflict therefore lacks the substance to obtain my interest. “

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