What is the primary conflict in "An Ounce of Cure"? Why?

The primary conflict in “An Ounce of Cure” is that between the unnamed narrator and herself. Unable to deal with the emotional pain of a breakup, she tries to kill herself and starts hitting the bottle. This is the primary conflict of the story because it drives the most important action.

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The main conflict in “An Ounce of Cure” is an internal one, a conflict between the unnamed narrator and herself. This conflict is the main driver of the action and forms the basis of much of what happens.

After a brief relationship, the narrator, a teenage girl, breaks up with...

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The main conflict in “An Ounce of Cure” is an internal one, a conflict between the unnamed narrator and herself. This conflict is the main driver of the action and forms the basis of much of what happens.

After a brief relationship, the narrator, a teenage girl, breaks up with her boyfriend. It's a very painful separation for her, so much so that it quickly becomes clear that she's not able to handle it. As a direct consequence of her immaturity and emotional fragility, the girl tries to commit suicide. When that doesn't work, she starts hitting the bottle, hoping that alcohol will somehow drown her sorrows.

It is then that the narrator is forced to deal with an external conflict: that between herself and the people of the town. Having gained the unwanted reputation of an alcoholic ex-babysitter, the narrator somehow has to live down what happened.

As it turns out, this is actually a lot easier than she thought. Although her phone stops ringing for a time, everyone eventually forgets about her after a “fat blond girl” in the tenth grade runs off with a married man. However, that still leaves the girl to deal with her own internal conflict arising from the painful breakup with her ex-boyfriend.

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The primary conflict in this short story is between our unnamed narrator and her demons of loneliness, depression, and, temporarily, alcohol.

After going through an experience that's almost a rite of passage for a teenage girl—having a boyfriend break up with her—our narrator falls into a depressive state, and it all comes to a head one night while she's working a babysitting job and discovers that the parents of her charges have left some whisky unattended.

Not realizing that whisky is meant to be drunk with a mixer, she drinks two glasses neat and gets horribly drunk. This experience is her version of "rock bottom," and after this—and getting into a whole lot of trouble—she starts to get better and realize that there will be life after Martin Collingwood.

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“An Ounce of Cure” is a short story that centers on an unnamed girl (the narrator of the story) who lives with her family in a small, highly conservative town. She falls in love with a boy called Martin Collingwood, who is a senior at her school. The relationship lasts two months only, after which Martin starts a new relationship with a girl called Mary Bishop, who acts alongside Martin in the school’s Christmas play. The end of the relationship presents the beginning of the narrator’s problems as she tries to survive her first heartbreak.

The narrator struggles internally with Martin’s rejection. She “hangs around the places where he can be seen, and then pretends not to see him,” “she pines and weeps for him endlessly.” She tries to take all the aspirins in the bathroom cabinet but stops at six. Even her mother notices that something is the matter with her. She is “mortally depressed.” It is in this state of mind that she goes to babysit at the Berrymans’ home and eventually pours herself two glasses of whiskey, even though her own parents and most people she knows in the town do not drink. She must think that the aspirin tablets or whiskey could put an end to her misery. She is an adolescent who is struggling to make the right decisions, to find a footing in a largely conservative environment. The main conflict in the story is thus to be found within the narrator herself as she fights against feelings of helplessness and unworthiness.

Note that drinking the whiskey at the Berryman’s home makes her quite the outcast in her town. It earns her “the most sinful reputation in her school” until many months later when another girl commits a worse “sin” that steals the limelight. However, it also helps her to heal from the heartbreak by allowing her to face “the terrible and fascinating reality of her problems.”

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The primary conflict in An Ounce of Cure is between the unnamed narrator and herself. The story is a tale of a young girl's struggle to accept herself and the whirling emotions she experiences as begins experiencing adult life. This conflict is demonstrated in her obsessive replaying of the events surrounding her first kiss, which ultimately left her heartbroken and depressed. Her decision to attempt to kill herself is a manifestation of this conflict.

Alternatively, the story may also be viewed as one centered on the conflict of man vs. society. In many ways the conditions the narrator finds herself in are a product of the extremely conservative environment of the town she lives in and the immense pressure that has been placed on her to live up to other people's expectations. She finds herself having a reputation to uphold that is in many ways beyond her as it does not afford her the freedom to explore and make mistakes as everyone does while growing up.

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