Types of Conflict in Literature (List #3)

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Last updated: May 5, 2019

Conflict
a struggle between or among characters or forces in a story that creates the action of a plot (internal, external; character vs.

character, character vs. self, character vs. nature, character vs. society)

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Internal Conflict (also known as, Character vs. Self)
a problem or struggle within a character

Example of Internal Conflict
in “Bystander” Eric has a conflict within himself because he is struggling to accept and understand that his dad has a mental illness known as, schizophrenia.

External Conflict
a problem or struggle between a character and someone or something outside of the character

Example of External Conflict
In “Bystander” there is a conflict between Eric and Griffin because Eric does not agree with Griffin’s bullying behaviors, but he stays friends with him because Eric does not want Griffin to start bullying him.

Character vs. Charcter Conflict (the good guy vs. the bad guy)
a problem or struggle between two characters

Example of a Character vs. Character Conflict
In “Bystander” there is a conflict between Griffin and David Hallenback because Griffin bullies David both verbally and physically

Character vs. Nature Conflict
a problem between a character and something in nature

Examples of Character vs.

Nature Conflicts

1) A character struggles to survive in the wilderness alone.2) A character struggles to save their self or their family from an erupting volcanoe3) A fireman character struggles to save a boy from a burning building

Character vs. Society Conflict
A character has problems with the society that surrounds her/him.

Examples of Character vs. Society Conflicts
1) A character doesn’t fit in with the other kids at school2) A girl character believes she has to look like the models on the magazine covers to be beautiful3) A character is a criminal who is on the run from the police

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