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What is an example of an internal or external conflict Miss Maudie encounters in To...

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user9735703 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 25, 2013 at 10:02 PM via web

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What is an example of an internal or external conflict Miss Maudie encounters in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2013 at 7:42 PM (Answer #1)

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An example of an external conflict is how Miss Maudie reacts to the fire in her house.

An external conflict is a conflict between the character and an outside force.  The conflict between Miss Maudie and the forces of nature that burned her house down is an example of character vs. nature.  An internal conflict is a conflict between a character and his or her self.  It is a decision or a fear the character has to deal with.

During the fire, Atticus and Miss Maudie stand and watch the house go up in flames.  They both seem eerily calm. 

Miss Maudie was staring at the smoking black hole in her yard, and Atticus shook his head to tell us she did not want to talk. (ch 8)

When Scout talks to Miss Maudie later, she is surprised at Miss Maudie’s reaction.  Apparently she has decided to take things in stride.  She jokes about being able to build a smaller house so she can have more yard.  Miss Maudie lost almost everything, but she still has her life and her friends.

Miss Maudie could have cried and complained, but she did not.  She picked herself up and carried on, showing incredible personal and emotional strength.

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