What is the conflict in "The Man to Send Rain Clouds" by Leslie Silko?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The primary conflict in "The Man to Send Rain Clouds" is that of man against society. This conflict would be better stated as humankind against society. This is a common conflict type in contemporary literature as society is more often seen as a restricting barrier rather than a civilizing culture.

The defining point in this conflict is that the central character or characters challenge, or are challenged by, the society in which they live because the values and customs of society are in one way or another outside the system of moral conviction or unexamined behavior of the character or characters. One instance of this conflict is embodied in the priest's grave uneasiness about using Catholic Holy Water in a Pueblo Indian society's religious death ceremony.

A secondary conflict in this story is that of man (humankind) against nature. This conflict pits humankind's desires and will against the forces and affects of nature. This conflict appears prominently in connection with Teofilo's death and his new duty and role as the bringer of rain clouds.