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CONFLICTS
Conflicts
• The central issue that makes a story move
along
– Novel: multiple conflicts
– Short story: one conflict (usually)
• Internal: inside character’s mind
• External: man versus something besides
himself
Man Vs. Self
• INTERNAL
• Central to character, must be resolved by
character alone
• Struggle with one of following:
–
–
–
–
Morality
Fate
Desire
Belief
DISNEY EXAMPLE: Should Ariel (Little Mermaid) leave
her world for a man? Is it worth it?
Man Vs. Man
• EXTERNAL
• Character struggles against another
character
– Moral, religious, social
• Conflict can be emotional, verbal, or
physical
DISNEY EXAMPLE: Woody vs. Buzz Lightyear; Peter
Pan vs. Captain Hook
Man Vs. Nature
• EXTERNAL
• Man finds himself at odds with force of
nature
– Struck by lightening
– Capsized boat
– Hypothermia
MOVIE EXAMPLE: Castaway; Into the Wild; Mogli in The
Jungle Book?
Man Vs. Society
• EXTERNAL
• Man struggles against values of
culture/government
– Battle vs. evil, oppressive culture
• Society = antagonist (a character in
itself!)
DISNEY EXAMPLE: Brave (Merida doesn’t want to be a
princess); Happy Feet (can’t sing, but can dance)
Man Vs. Fate
• EXTERNAL
• Character is compelled to follow an
unknown destiny
• Creates internal conflict (man vs. self)
MOVIE EXAMPLE: Harry Potter as the chosen one. The
Matrix (Neo). Any movie with a “prophecy.”
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