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What's the external and internal conflict in "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

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cute20039 | Student | eNoter

Posted April 6, 2011 at 10:03 PM via web

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What's the external and internal conflict in "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 7, 2011 at 8:01 PM (Answer #1)

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This excellent short story explores the ethics and dangers of time travel by offering us as spectators the ultimate safari showdown between man and dinosaurs. Clearly, therefore, the external conflict is the conflict betweel Eckels and the other men and the Tyrannosaurus Rex they hope to kill. However, more interestingly, the internal conflict that goes on inside of Eckels is with his own fear and sense of futility as he sees the dinosaur come striding towards him:

It can't be killed... We were fools to come. This is impossible.

Note how what Eckels says here captures his thoughts that trying to kill such a beast is ludicrous because of its size and power. As he sees the dinosaur, Eckels realises that he has bitten off more than he can chew, and fear wins out as he retreats from the creature bearing down on him.

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