Real conflicts do not offer easy resolutions or neat closureIs this statement true and to what extent. What are some 'worldy' examples of this? THANKS =]

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teachertaylor's profile pic

teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

I think this statement holds much truth.  In situations of countries going to war, these major conflicts do not offer easy resolutions because often countries want very different things.  During World War II, countries battled to maintain their ideologies and ways of life.  This is not an easy thing to compromise.  And after the war is finished, a peace treaty may put an end to the military fighting; however, hard feelings remain between countries and there is no sense of neat closure. 

Having said that, I'm not really ready to argue that in order for a conflict to be "real" it must have difficult resolutions and closure.  Just because a problem is easy to fix, does not necessarily mean that it was not a "real" problem.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I agree with the first post.  I don't think the definition of a "real" conflict is that it was difficult to solve.  I might substitute the word "major" or "significant" for "real" here.

Consider that "conflict" tends to grow with age.  I think of the first time a boy broke my heart in high school.  Looking back now, the situation is almost laughable, but at the time, it was a very real conflict for me.  It was real because it was the first time it happened - and certainly my feelings were real.  But that is how life is.  Think about it.  Every time we experience a conflict that is bigger than the last - it is the biggest conflict of our lives thus far.  But as age and maturity bring life difficulty - suddenly past problems seem smaller and smaller.  Does that make them any less real?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is almost built on this premise.  As Francie grows up - each age holds different challenges - which at the time she experiences them, are very real - and while some of them are overcome much easier than others, at the time she experiences them they are always the most difficult things she's experienced so far in life.  At the very end of the novel she and her brother reminisce on their childhood.  They discuss how lucky their little sister is because her life is going to be so easy compared to their lives.   But then they laugh when the realize it will also be a lot less fun.

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akannan's profile pic

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

Posted on

They never do.  I cannot think of a situation where real, valid, and significant conflicts possessed easy or simple solutions.  Infact, one could argue that the simpler the solution posed for challenging conflicts, the more dangerous it is.  For example, Hitler's approach to solving the conflict of German weakness was a simple one:  Blame everyone else.  The results proved to be disastrous.  In Miller's work, "The Crucible," Abigail's emotional and psychological condition is a real and complex problem, magnified by her infatuation with John Proctor.  Her solution:  Make up lies about everyone who could be a witch.  The notion of real conflicts cannot offer easy solutions or neat closure precisely because they are "real."  The notion of a real conflict would consist of equally desirable, but ultimately incompatible courses of action.  The individual pitted in a scenario where decisions have to be made and some level of agony is present.  Such a predicament is not easy and cannot present "neat" closure.  This is not to say that resolution is impossible.  Rather, it is to suggest that the very nature of challenging conflicts involve situations of pain and agony, elements that cause challenge to the individual and preclude any simple or reductive solution.

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