What is the internal conflict in the book Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This novel focuses on the experience of Stephanie as she comes of age, and through her eyes, the reader learns about several different internal conflicts impacting Stephanie and her friends, Rachel and Alison.

First of all, Stephanie experiences inner conflict when she befriends Alison, a new girl, and this new friendship affects her relationship with Rachel in unexpected ways. Alison is cool and the daughter of an actress, but Rachel doesn't seem as charmed by her as Stephanie would like. As distance grows between Stephanie and Rachel, she feels torn between her old best friend and her new one.

As well, the three girls all have a crush on the same boy, nicknamed Jeremy Dragon. They admire him from afar, until he and Rachel end up in the same class. Stephanie and Rachel both experience some inner conflict here as Rachel seems to have more in common with him than she, Stephanie, does even though Jeremy lives in Stephanie's old house and even sleeps in her old bedroom.

Another example of inner conflict is observable in Alison when she finds out her mother, who adopted her, is pregnant. She is scared of being replaced by a biological sibling, but the reader can see how Alison could feel guilty and conflicted about this jealousy.

This novel takes place during the girls' seventh grade year, during which lots of events happen that cause them to call into question everything they previously thought was clear and reliable. The inner conflicts described above and the many others in the novel all illustrate the complications of growing up.

beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The internal conflict in Judy Blume's, As Long As We're Together, arises from the many changes in the life of Stephanie Hoch, the main character. She and Rachel, have been life-long friends. That is until a new girl, Alison, arrives on the scene. Stephanie has high hopes that the three of them will be able to be best friend now that they are in seventh grade and have discovered boys. She hopes that they can share there deepest secrets and feelings.

But Stephanie's life is changing on a number of levels. Her parents separate, her best friend, Rachel, is academically superior, and the new girl, Alison, is immediately popular. These things happen as she is becoming a teen-ager, a time of angst for most young girls. All of these thing create an inner tension in Stephanie. Can she  be supportive of her little sister, can she maintain her friendship with Rachel while building a new one with Rachel? And, on top of that, what should she do about her feelings for Jeremy Dragon? She feels self-doubt.

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Just as Long as We're Together

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