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In "The Crucible," what are some examples of the three main types of conflict?The three...

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boombox23 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:17 AM via web

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In "The Crucible," what are some examples of the three main types of conflict?

The three main conflicts being personal, interpersonal, and impersonal.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 19, 2010 at 6:43 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that one can find different examples of the conflicts mentioned throughout the work.  John Proctor might represent all of them on different levels.  On a personal level, John is struggling with his sin of having a relationship with Abigail and trying to restore his marriage.  He is also struggling with how his concept of what Salem should be is vastly different from what it now has become.  In this light, we can see this as part of an impersonal conflict because the concept of Salem is something with which he struggles.  At the same time, his interpersonal conflicts present himself between he and his wife and she wanting him to confess in order to live and he wishing to stand for truth regardless of his consequences.  This can be an example of an interpersonal conflict because of the fact that both husband and wife hold opposing views on how action should be taken.

On a much larger level, I think that we can find conflict of these types in many characters.  Abigail's accusations and lies create an interpersonal conflict between what she says and nearly everyone else.  At the same time, she is struggling with her own personal conflict of not having a sound psychological foundation of love and trust, never fully receiving it from her parents who died prematurely or from Reverend Parris, who is incapable of such emotional needs.  I think that an impersonal conflict can be seen in how Putnam seeks to acquire more land.  This would be an example of an impersonal conflict between individual and the natural world, in that he seeks to control more that is not in his control.  At the same time, the manner in which Putnam acquires land, underbidding those who have been accused in order to get a good price, is another example of interpersonal conflict in that his tactic pits those who are struggling against him.  Putnam, himself, is filled with much in way of resentment towards the people of Salem, reflecting of another personal conflict.  With all of this in mind, I think that when Tituba says that there are more witches in Salem, she might not be that far off.  The monster borne of conflict walks amongst all of them, and us, as well.

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