Books and Movies Reviews

Conflict in Stories

Complications usually arise after a writer introduces the main point in a story. These complications are usually the result of conflicts. There are three kinds of conflict within a story (Trimmer and Jennings 4). Thefirst kind of conflict is conflict among the characters. The second kind of conflict is conflict between a character and his or her environment. The third kind of conflict is conflict among the thoughts, needs, or emotions of a single character. After conflict arises, this is a moment of crisis or perhaps better known as the climax of the story. This usually marks the end of development to any other major action in the story (Trimmer and Jennings 5). The focus at this point is on the conflict in hopes of untangling or resolving it.
Thefirst kind of conflict is conflict among characters. This kind of conflict is present in John Updike’s “A&P” and Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case.” Sammy, the main character in “A,” wants to impress some town girls12a and Lengel, the store manager, wants to humiliate them. Because of this conflict, Sammy makes a decision to quit his job in an effort to become a hero to the girls. Lengel realizes this is a hasty decision and tells Sammy, “you?ll9e feel this for the rest of your life”(1140). However, Sammy feels “once you begin a gesture, it’s fatal not to go through with it”(1140). Updike writes, “I[Sammy] fe[el] how hard the world [is] going to be to me hereafter”(1141). Sammy realizes he has made a mistake. Paul in “Paul’s Case” is in conflict with his father and cannot live up to his expectations. His father constantly holds a young man, who is a business clerk, up to him as a role model. According to Cather, “it [is] his father’s deepest hope that he would pattern [the business clerk]”(84). However, Paul despises the thought. He does not have any interest in being a common businessperson. Instead, his interest is in arts and theater. However, his father does not en


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