Conflicts - Short Story Essay

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Conflict means a struggle or problem between two opposing groups or individuals. There are two types of conflict: internal and external conflict. An internal conflict is a struggle that is internalized and deals with choices, consequences, or emotions. An internal conflict is a man vs. self struggle. An external conflict is a struggle between the protagonist and another character against nature or some outside force. External conflicts are either man verses man, man verses nature, or man verses society. Various examples of internal and external conflicts can be shown in Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace,” Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” and O.Henry’s, “The Gift of the Magi.”

Firstly, Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” shows internal and external conflicts. An example of an internal conflict is when Mathilde, or Mme. Loisel, the protagonist, does not have a dress to wear to the ball that her husband was invited to through a few struggles. When her kind husband asks her why she was upset, she says, “‘Oh, nothing. Only I don’t have an evening dress and therefore I can’t go to that affair’” (Maupassant 29). For this reason, her husband buys her a dress worth four hundred francs to keep her happy. An example that shows an external conflict is when Mme. Loisel loses the necklace she borrows from her friend Mme. Forestier. “‘I…I…I don’t have Mme. Forestier’s necklace.’” says Mme. Loisel with horror when they got home from the ball (32). To resolve this conflict, the Loisel couple bought another diamond necklace to replace the old one. It took them many years to pay off the debts. Then, one fine day Mme. Loisel bumps into Mme. Forestier, and comes to acknowledge that the necklace was fake. So, if Mathilde had told the truth right from the beginning, she would have never had to buy a diamond necklace and work so hard all these years.

Moving on, another story that shows conflict is Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” A very good example of an...
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