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Rick Riordan's protagonist, in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief, faces many conflicts.
Internal Conflict- Internal conflict is a conflict one has within their own being. It is referred to as man verses self.
Percy faces internal conflict in the novel. The fact that he has never met his real father and hates his stepfather both pose internal problems (conflicts) for Percy. Percy also has ADHD and dyslexia.
External Conflict- External conflict is the conflict one faces against outside forces. These are denoted as man verses man, man verses nature and man verses supernatural.
Percy faces many external conflicts. He must face the supernatural (when his algebra teacher turns into a winged beast and when his mother is attacked by the Minotaur).
Percy must possess different characteristics in order to face his challenges and succeed. In regards to his ADHD and dyslexia, Percy must dig deep down indie himself to focus on issues at hand without getting sidetracked.
As for his external conflicts, Percy (after finding out that he is the son of Poseidon) accepts his role as a god and trains (both physically and mentally).
Essentially, Percy possesses the power (both mental and physical) to be a hero. His heroic characteristics are great strength and fighting ability. These characteristics are necessary for him to face his conflicts.
The previous post does a nice job of simply stating the differences between internal and external conflict. Percy definitely experiences both types of conflicts during the course of the novel. Internally, he struggles to come to grips with his heritage and stepping into his destiny. He also struggles with dyslexia and ADHD.
I have moments like that a lot, when my brain falls asleep or something, and the next thing I know I've missed something, as if a puzzle piece fell out of the universe and left me staring at the blank place behind it. The school counselor told me this was part of the ADHD, my brain misinterpreting things.
He even struggles with being one of the few poor kids at his school.
I couldn't remember the last time I had so much fun. I came from a relatively poor family. Our idea of a splurge was eating out at Burger King and renting a video.
Externally, Percy’s conflicts are with mythical gods that put his very life at stake.
In response to those conflicts, Percy displays heroic qualities. He doesn’t shy away from the conflict. He might be nervous to confront whichever conflict might be arising, but he bravely meets the challenge head on. He perseveres in his efforts and doesn’t give up. He gives selflessly of himself to ensure those characters that are with him are safe.
Percy also fits the general mold of the traditional mono-myth for heroes. The mono-myth is also referred to as the heroic journey cycle. Depending on your source, the cycle has anywhere from 8-12 steps, but the differences are very minor. The cycle almost always starts out by introducing the hero in a normal, mundane way. That is true with Percy: he’s a troubled kid that has been bounced around from school to school for the previous six years. He struggles with learning, is poor, and is not the popular kid at school. Next, the hero must receive a call to action. Percy is called to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt. Unlike the normal hero, Percy is fairly willing to go on his journey; however, like other heroes, his journey is fraught with danger and setbacks. Additionally, the standard hero journey requires that the hero receive help from other characters along the way. That is true for Percy as well. He may be powerful, but he doesn't go about fighting evil by himself. Eventually, the hero is victorious, and like most heroes, Percy decides to return to his normal life after the final confrontation.
He has to force himself to concentrate on the issues at hand. He is resilient.
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