What is the central conflict?
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The central conflict in the story is between Sarty’s commitment to truth and his allegiance to his father. There are lesser conflicts, such as that between the brothers (the older brother does not trust Sarty [paragraph 92]); between Abner and Lonnie, his wife; between Abner and Mr. Harris, Major De Spain, the justices, the black servant of the De Spains, and Mrs. De Spain; and also between Abner and the law generally. The major conflict is resolved when Abner directs his wife to restrain Sarty, indicating his judgment that Sarty’s loyalty is to truth and honesty rather than to him.
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