What are the different types of conflict (both external and internal) found in "To Hell with Dying"?Describe the significance of these conflicts in the story.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Though "To Hell With Dying" has a sad ending, it is not all bad. The story is filled with recollections of shared joy, love and unconditional acceptance. There are some conflicts, though the first is probably the only one that drives the plot.

The conflicts I found are as follows:

Man vs. the nature would apply to the narrator and her family fighting the death of Mr. Sweet on a regular basis.

(It may be important to mention, also, that the process has taught the children that death is inevitable, and also that their "revival" can only be done for Mr. Sweet: it will not work on anyone else.)

Man vs. self is seen in Mr. Sweet's heartache and suffering over the loss of his wife, still years after her death.

We might also see this same kind of conflict when the narrator visits Mr. Sweet for the last time, and at the age of twenty-four, finds herself somehow stunned with disbelief when she is unable to revive him again; his death was, after all (as she had learned earlier), inevitable.

Man vs. man is seen when the people, including the doctor, at Mr. Sweet's home try to keep the children from his side when they all believe Mr. Sweet is dying.

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To Hell with Dying

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