Internal conflict refers to a psychological struggle within the mind of a character. Trying to resolve the struggle creates suspense in the story. External conflict refers to the struggle between a character and outside forces such as other characters, circumstances or nature. Such conflict drives the dramatic action in a story.
In The Lottery, the internal conflicts are not as clearcut as the external ones. There are, however, subtle suggestions that such conflict does exist. An example would be at the beginning of the story when the men are asked for assistance by Mr Summers and there is some hesitation. This may indicate that the men are not entirely keen to be involved in what is to happen and are, therefore, reluctant to participate. Convention and common courtesy, though, seem to drive Mr Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, to assist.
Tessie Hutchinson is clearly experiencing internal conflict. When she is asked to draw a slip from the lottery box, she hesitates for a minute. It is...
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