What are the conflicts in Nightjohn?person vs person person vs him/herself person vs animal person vs society

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Nightjohn, a novel by Gary Paulsen, is set during the time of slavery and has many conflicts.  Nightjohn himself was once a free escaped slave who returns on his own to teach others to read. He fits the person vs himself because to return is a difficult decision as is Mammy's conflict within herself to let Nightjohn continue teaching Sarny to read.  The person versus animal happens when the young woman who is not right in the head tries to escape and is set upon by the dogs which she does not try to fight.  The person vs person is the master of the house versus Nightjohn; when Nightjohn admits to being the teacher of letters, the master chops off one toe on each foot.  The person vs society could be Sarny or Nightjohn defying the rules and using reading to record what is happening to them for the world to see.  This very short book is one every student interested in slavery should read.

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