Conflict Examples


In literature, conflict is the problem or struggle that the protagonist must face. Often the conflict is between the protagonist and an antagonist.

There two different kinds of conflict. External Conflict is conflict that the protagonist experiences between himself and another person or another thing. Internal Conflict is conflict that the protagonist experiences within himself-he must overcome his own emotions or characteristics in order to triumph.

Often people talk about three different conflicts that a protagonist can have:

Man vs. Man-a conflict between a protagonist and another person

Man vs. Nature-a conflict between a protagonist and the elements

Man vs. Self-a conflict within the protagonist

Examples of Conflict:

1. In Hamlet, Hamlet has a conflict with his uncle, whom he suspects of murdering his father in order to be king. Hamlet also has some internal conflict, as he struggles with his own feelings during the play.

2. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout is the young protagonist, and she faces conflict as she tries to understand prejudice and how it leads to the death of Tom Robinson.

3. In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker's conflict is with the Emperor's forces, and specifically with Darth Vadar.

4. In The Lion King, Simba has an external conflict with his uncle Scar, but he also has an internal conflict as he works through his guilt over his father's death.

5. In the Harry Potter series, Harry's main conflict is with Voldemort and those who are working for him.

6. In The Lord of the Flies, the boys find themselves in conflict with each other, as they turn on each other in their isolation. There are also inner conflicts, as the boys work through emotions, like fear.

7. In Romeo and Juliet, the main conflict is between the two families, and Romeo and Juliet find themselves in love and in conflict with their own families.

8. In Charlotte's Web, Wilbur's conflict is pig vs. man, as he is hoping to avoid being eaten!

9. In A Separate Peace, Gene's conflict is mostly internal, as he wrestles with his jealousy and with his guilt because he caused Phineas' accident.

10. In The Odyssey, Odysseus faces many conflicts on his journey, as he encounters a Cyclops, the witch Circe, the Lotus Eaters, etc.

Related Links:
Grammar Examples