What are internal and external conflicts in literature? Man vs. Man, Nature and Self--what are they?
In terms of literary characteristics, the conflicts within a story are not always easy to identify. A brief overview of each type of conflict should adapt universally to literature.
Internal vs. External conflict: Internal conflict exists when a character is wrestling with an idea or characteristic that exists within him or herself. An example might be a character that isn't sure about his or her feelings. He or she may have to make a choice between right and wrong. This is called "man vs. self."
External conflict conflict occurs when two characters in a storyline are pitted against one another. Often these are the protagonist and the antagonist or "foil." This type of external conflict is known as "man vs. man."
The other external conflict occurs when a character must battle something in the world around him or her. Perhaps an element of nature, like a storm or a drought. That type of external conflict is called "man vs. nature."
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