Essay Conflicts on a Thing of Beauty and Sorry Wrong Number

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Explain how conflict is portrayed in Sorry, Wrong Number and another drama you have studied this semester. Which one has a greater impact on and why? In Sorry, Wrong Number and A Thing of Beauty, there are four conflicts that can be seen, internal, how a character struggles with himself or herself, relational, between two peoples, societal, between a character and a group and situational, conflict with a certain situation.

Internal conflict is portrayed when the character, Mrs. Stevenson, is struggling with herself. When Mrs. Stevenson heard the sound of the phone receiver being lifted on the same extension line as her, “(Click of receiver being put down on Mrs. Stevenson’s line)” She was attempting to get help from the Operator yet the Operator was not bothering about her at all. She is scared, thinking that if she does not pick it up, if she does not let them hear her and she is quiet, they would not realize that she is there and eventually they’ll leave her house. However, she is in a dilemma when she realised that if she does not call for help, there would be no time for anyone to save her. “I won’t pick it up; I won’t let them hear me. I’ll be quiet - and they’ll think ...But if I don’t call someone now - while they’re still down there - there’ll be no time...” This shows that she is caught in a tight spot trying to decide the best and safest solution to save herself.

In A Thing of Beauty, internal conflict is when the Prioress is being made by the Colonel to choose between nineteen nuns or Edith Stein. She is in a predicament as to whether to save nineteen nuns’ lives by giving up Edith Stein or saving Edith Stein by sacrificing nineteen nuns’ lives. Either way, the Prioress is forced to “wield the power of life and death over” them and is going against her believes in her religion. Therefore, the Prioress is sandwiched between two tough and equally wrong options. It is also seen towards the end of the play. After the Prioress’ outburst of confession, that “Sister Benedicta and Edith Stein are the same person”, the Colonel is troubled over whether to follow his head, send Edith Stein to the concentration camp and complete what he came here to do, or to follow his heart, and let the Jew, Edith Stein, go as he has grown a respect for her through their mental battle of intelligence. He said, “A thing of goodness and beauty must be destroyed. It reflects and in its reflection, ugliness and brutality become uglier and more brutal and they must destroy it. It cannot survive.” He said this to convince himself, his heart, that sending Edith Stein to the concentration camp and remaining faithful to his “religion”, Nazism. This suggests that he is troubled upon whether to follow his rational head or his immature heart.

The internal conflict that had more impact on me was A Thing of Beauty as it had made me think about which would have been a better choice, to save the nineteen nuns or Edith Stein for the Prioress or to listen to his head or his heart for the Colonel.

Relational conflict is portrayed when Mrs. Stevenson is to convince Sergeant Duffy that there was a “murder going to happen to a poor woman who lived in a house by a bridge at eleven-fifteen” that night. Mrs. Stevenson wanted Sergeant Duffy to be able to do something for the poor woman, which she did not know was indeed her, yet he seemed to her strangely calm and does not seem to take any care into trying to prevent the murderer. “A lot of murders are committed in this city every day ma’am. If we could do something to stop ‘em, we would. But a clue of this kind that’s so vague isn’t much more use to us than no clue at all.” Through this, it is clear that Sergeant Duffy is not planning to investigate further before the murder actually happens. Thus, we can tell that they are arguing about how to help the victim of the murder.

In A Thing of Beauty, relational conflict is portrayed when the Colonel is asking...
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