Conflict is the struggle between opposing forces in a story, such as characters, ideas, or emotions. Conflict is a fundamental element of plot, and it drives the narrative forward by creating tension and drama. There are several types of conflict in literature, including internal conflict (a struggle within a character’s own mind or emotions), external conflict (a struggle between a character and an outside force), and interpersonal conflict (a struggle between two or more characters). Conflict can be used to explore themes, reveal character, and create a sense of urgency and suspense in a story
Examples of conflict:
In “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, the external conflict between the protagonist Katniss and the oppressive Capitol creates tension and explores themes of power, survival, and rebellion.
In “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, the external conflict between the father and son and the harsh post-apocalyptic world they inhabit creates tension and explores themes of love, hope, and survival.
In “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, the protagonist Rachel faces internal and external conflicts as she grapples with alcoholism and her obsession with a missing woman.
In “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, the external conflict between the protagonist Cora and slave catchers highlights the brutality and horror of slavery and the power of resistance and liberation.
In “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, the external conflict between the protagonist Amir and his past mistakes and regrets creates tension and explores themes of redemption, guilt, and forgiveness.