What are examples of internal conflict in When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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An internal conflict occurs in a story when a character faces a challenge personally, and usually has a decision to make.  The problem takes place within the character.

In the novel, When Crickets Cry, the main character Reece experiences several internal conflicts in the opening scene of the story.  He encounters Annie, the young girl with a heart defect, selling lemonade.  He wants to know this girl, he wants to hear her story, without revealing anything about himself.  As he narrates his own story he reveals the methodical process of his questioning, and even mentally admits, in answering her questions, that he isn't telling "lies," when he chooses to leave out many details about himself.

Then, Annie is hit by a truck.  He struggles to help her, medically, and simultaneously convince others who have gathered that he knows what he is doing and is actually helping.  Several internal conflicts rage as he must make split-second decisions about what to do and say to best help the injured girl, and to convince others that everything is going to be okay.  Several of these split-second decisions result in minor external conflicts, as he physically must fight off two large men who believe he is hurting the girl.

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