What are the conflict and resolution in the book Scorpions?

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Scorpions features conflicts on three levels: internal (human being versus themself), human versus human, and human versus society. Although the last one is present throughout the entire novel, it is not fully developed or resolved because of its wide scope.

As the novel traces the competition for leadership of the Scorpions, a New York City gang, the human versus human theme seems to dominate; teenage boys vie to become the new leader after the former leader, Randy, is incarcerated. This conflict forces the members to choose sides in backing the next leader.

As this conflict escalates into an armed battle, Tito shoots Angel. This criminal act exacerbates the inner conflicts that Jamal, the protagonist, suffers. Randy is his brother, and he supported another boy, Indian, as the next leader. But Tito is his friend, and he worries about the consequences of Tito’s crime.

The internal conflict is partly resolved as Jamal decides to withdraw from the gang; the reader does not learn if he will stay with this decision long term. The person-to-person conflict is resolved by removing Tito from the situation: he leaves New York to live in Puerto Rico, and we learn no more about him.

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In the novel Scorpions, Jamal is trying desperately to help his older brother, Randy, out of prison. Randy is the leader of the Scorpion gang, but since his incarceration the gang has been carrying on activities without him. Several members of the gang want to elect Jamal as the new leader—partly to reconnect with Randy—but others do not want him included.

The main struggle of the story is Jamal's internal conflict between joining the gang or doing the right thing and maintaining his innocence. This is compounded by the fact that Jamal is trying to help earn the $500 to help his brother overturn his conviction, and the gang promises a much faster way to acquire that money.

Fortunately, at the end of the novel, Jamal's resolve wins out and he refuses to join the gang, persevering long enough to earn the necessary money to help his brother.

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The main conflict is Jamal's internal struggle to become the leader of the Scorpions or stay out of the gangs. Jamal and Tito live in the ghetto of Harlem in New York City in the midst of violence, guns, drugs, and gangs. There's never enough money for the family. The people in Harlem are limited by those who stereotype blacks, Puerto Ricans, and other minorities. Even Jamal's school is a cold, uncaring place that makes him feel inadequate. These are the outside forces in Jamal's world that pressure him into making poor decisions.

In the end, Jamal and Tito meet Indian and Angel in the park, and Jamal tells them that his brother, Randy, said that Indian is to be the leader of the Scorpions. Angel and Indian start to beat up Jamal, and Angel draws a knife. Tito shoots Angel, and Indian crawls away, wounded. Jamal talks Mack into becoming the leader of the Scorpions, and Tito goes back to Puerto Rico with his grandmother. Jamal gives him the portrait he had drawn of Tito, saying, "it was the best drawing [Jamal] had done in his whole life." Because of Jamal's poor decisions, he loses his best friend. He wishes he'd thrown the gun away when Tito asked him to. Jamal feels terrible sadness and loneliness as he watches Tito's cab drive away. "The wind picked up. It was colder, much colder than it had been...Jamal pulled his collar up against the wind."

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