PowerPoint Document Version
EILAND'S ONLINE ENGLISH CLASSES

golden fractal
art courtesy of
Janet Preslar, FrActivity

Conflict and Setting

CONFLICT

  • The primary "problem" or dilemma a character may have
  • Often the focus of both Escapist and Interpretive Literature
  • Man vs. Man
  • Man vs. Nature
    • Man vs. Natural Elements
    • Man vs. Man-made Elements
    • Man vs. Society
  • Man vs. Self

MAN (PERSON) VS. MAN

  • Conflict between two characters
  • Usually the major overt focus of a plot
  • Least important and most easily identifiable of the conflicts
  • Sometimes symbolic of deeper ironies

MAN (PERSON) VS. NATURE

  • Multiple conflicts concerning an individual in conflict with either more than one person or non-human elements. Character is in conflict with setting: society or the environment
  • Character versus society: ideals of one versus the ideals of the other
  • Character versus environment: struggle to survive forces of nature (weather, disease, fate) or man-made environments (big city, locked room)
  • Often symbolic

MAN (PERSON) VS. SELF

  • Person divided internally over feelings about a situation...ambivalence
  • Usually the most important of the conflicts.
  • Is often symbolized by other conflicts (i.e. man vs. man or nature)
  • You must explain two sides of internal dilemma
  • Is often the focal point of character's experience
  • Can be useful in drawing out other thematic aspects
  • Is often symbolic or ironic in nature
  • Be sure to clearly label the conflict to which you refer

SETTING

  • Merely the TIME and PLACE a work takes place
  • Reflects attitude or ideals of characters
  • Reflects the plot twists
  • Reflects author's feelings about situation
  • May reflect conflict as well
  • Often symbolic in nature


© T. T. Eiland, 1998-2017
Last modified: Feb 23, 2016