March 11, 2015
The first story that came to mind when I started thinking about conflict was “Big Black Good Man”. At first, with the way the story starts, it seems like the protagonist is going to be Olaf and the antagonist is going to be Jim. The narrator paints Olaf out to be this nice, older man, who loves his wife and looks after his sailor tenants like they are his children. Then, in walks Jim. And Olaf’s first thought is “he was staring at the biggest, strangest, blackest man he’d ever seen in all his life.” Olaf was frightened and felt weak and puny compared to Jim. Jim proceeds to ask for a room for about five or six days. Once Olaf hands him a key to the room, he notices how large Jim’s hands are and that he could kill him with one blow. Olaf then shows him to his room and Jim says, “I wants a bottle of whiskey and a woman, can you fix me up?” Olaf says “yes”, he was used to doing that for his other tenants. He hesitates, but when he gets back to his office his calls up Lena to have her come over for Jim. When she arrived he made sure to tell her how big and black Jim was, Lena just said she could handle him. After that, for the entire time Jim stayed there he requested Lena every night. On the sixth night Jim comes in to Olaf’s office commands him to “stand up!” Olaf is paralyzed, he thinks Jim is about to attack him and maybe even kill him. Slowly, Olaf stands up and Jim circles his fingers around Olaf’s neck. Not closing, but massaging gently, moving back and forth. Then Jim starts to laugh and Olaf says, “Please don’t hurt me.” And in turn, still laughing, Jim says, “I wouldn’t hurt you, boy” and then leaves. Olaf falls to his chair and starts to cry, he thought believes Jim was mocking him and showing how easily he could kill him. After that he dreamed about revenge. A year later Jim is back, and Olaf thinks he has his chance at revenge at last. But, Olaf was wrong all along. The reason Jim had...
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