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In "The Egypt Game," what are the internal and external conflicts of the...

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kimoynihan | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 9, 2008 at 10:42 AM via web

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In "The Egypt Game," what are the internal and external conflicts of the professor?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 23, 2008 at 3:30 AM (Answer #1)

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In the Professor's case, there are two main external conflicts, conflicts originating from outside of a character, which have shaped his life.  The first is the death of his wife Anne, who was killed in an attack in a faraway land.  The vivacious Anne had "changed (the) entire life" of the shy Professor, and when she died, he was devastated (Chapter 23).  The Professor's second external conflict is the attitude of "vague and mysterious fear" that the community has towards him.  What exactly the neighbors fear about the Professor is "uncertain", but his "appearance undoubtedly (has) something to do with the rumors" spread about him (Chapter 1).

The Professor's primary interior conflicts, conflicts originating within himself, stem from his inability to adjust after his wife's death.  After Anne died, the Professor says "I became (a) dusty junkyard, and after a while I didn't care".  The lonely man "spent years eliminating...contact...involvement...entirely from (his) life, creating for himself a position of forbidding reclusiveness.  Then when April's life is threatened, the Professor must face an immediate internal conflict in deciding whether or not to intervene.  Fortunately, the Professor manages to find the courage to "bring (him)self to break the glass and call" for help, effectively also breaking through his isolation and reestablishing contact with others in the world (Chapter 23).

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