As the framed story is written in the first person, the protagonist is simply "I." He is not named. The antagonist, also unnamed, is a friend who has sent the protagonist on what turns out to be a fools errand. The antagonist/friend has sent the protagonist in search of information on Leonidas Smiley. The framework antagonist knows that mentioning the name Smiley will lead the framed antagonist, Simon Wheeler, to begin telling ridiculous and long-winded stories about Jim Smiley. Thus we have two conflicts, the protagonist vs. his friend and the protagonist vs the storyteller, Simon Wheeler.