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Are there any conflicts (internal or external) in this classic "A Death In the Family"?

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vrinda | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 6, 2007 at 4:22 PM via web

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Are there any conflicts (internal or external) in this classic "A Death In the Family"?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 6, 2007 at 11:47 PM (Answer #1)

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It's important to note that all stories contain conflict. Without conflict, there is no progression to a story. For this particular story, there are both internal and external conflicts. Each character is dealing with the after effects of grief due to the death of father figure Jay Follet. Coping with grief is a man vs. self, or internal, conflict.

How people interact is a man vs. man, or external, conflict. The adults in this story do not know how to best comfort and console the children. This is a breakdown in man vs. man communication, and causes problems. Mary bends to the will of her relatives, which is also a man vs. man conflict. This could also be an internal conflict, because she is dealing with her own weaknesses in this section.

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