What conflict exists between Reese and someone or something else in the book?

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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In the book Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers, Reese experience inner conflict. Reese is incarcerated in Progress, a juvenile detention center, for a relatively petty crime. He is intent on redeeming himself, and getting out of jail to care for his nine year old sister. He is proud to be chosen for a work release program at a local senior citizens home named Evergreen. At the same time a well-known gang member is brought to the jail as a stop gap before he is moved to a higher security facility. Reese is aware that this gang member is planning to instigate a fight with his friend, Toon. At this point, Reese is torn, does he get involved to save his friend, or does his keep his nose clean so he does not lose his chance to continue to work on the Evergreen program, and ultimately get out of the detention facility early.

His inner conflict continues throughout the book. Other fights take place which land him in a type of solitary confinement where he has time to think. These are conflict within the story but are minor compared to the inner strife that Reece feels. He is framed for a crime that he did not commit and he stands firm in his innocence with the detectives who are investigating it. Ultimately, the detectives back down in their investigation.

He continues to work at Evergreen, and to attend but not participate in, classes at Progress. It is through a friendship that he establishes with a cranky, racist, elderly man at Evergreen that he realizes that others have difficult lives but they work hard and better themselves. When his little sister comes to visit him he realizes how important it is for him to deal with his inner conflict and to move forward with his life in a positive manner in spite of all of his setbacks. He is determined to remain true to himself.

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