What is the main conflict in the story?

The main conflict in Miracle’s Boys appears to be centered on Charlie and his contentious relationship with two brothers. After Charlie is released from the juvenile facility, he acts differently. The clashes between Newcharlie and his brothers propel the story to its emotional conclusion.

Expert Answers

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As you try to identify the main conflict in Jacqueline Woodson’s novel Miracle’s Boys, you should think about the primary struggle or clash that propels the brothers’ narrative.

You might consider making the death of the mother the main conflict. If the mom was still alive, Lafayette probably wouldn’t feel so guilty, Ty’ree could have gone to MIT, and maybe Charlie’s behavior would be less wanton.

Yet it seems like the mom's death is less of a conflict and more of a major event that sets the stage for the main conflict.

Perhaps Charlie's return from the juvenile facility could be the main conflict. Remember, when Charlie was gone, Ty’ree and Lafayette created a rather harmonious, loving environment. Ty’ree even told Lafayette that he could come and sleep with him if he had a bad dream.

The return of Charlie upends their conflict-free home. Altered by the facility, Charlie appears more hard-hearted and withdrawn. His presence brings conflict into the home. Both brothers worry about his behavior. If Charlie gets in trouble again, he could be punished further and the home that Ty’ree has created might collapse. Thus, it seems reasonable to say that the main conflict is centered on post-juvenile Charlie (aka, Newcharlie) and the threat that he poses to himself and his brothers.

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