What is the main conflict in The Grifters?

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story is set in Los Angeles' seedy side, featuring a crook or grifter, Roy Dillon. He had been hit by a baseball bat after trying to swindle(con) someone. His mother Lilly who just so happens to be in LA stops to see him. She hadn't seen him for 8 years. She takes him to hospital saving his life. She is a grifter too. She works for Bobo Justus in La Jolla CA. He owns the Justus Amusement park where you can place bets for the racetrack. Lily steals money from her boss and hides it in her Cadillac. His mother, Lilly, immediately dislikes  Roy's girlfriend. She is a slut and grifter too. Her name is Myra Langtry. She notices that Myra is a roper. (In con artist's terms this is the outside man, the one who earns the confidence of the victim.) Roy doesn't hear his mother and travels with Myrna to go to LaJolla to rest up. Myra discovers Roy is also a grfter and offers up a plan(scheme) where they can con some tycoons. She also uncovers Lilly's con using Bobo's money from the racetrack. Roy declines Myra's offer, but she won't settle for no. She is the greedy. In the end there are tragic consequences, as you know.

The conflict is the con men and women conning each other. The result can only be tragic. The underlying message is that a can man or woman can never be trusted.

 

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The Grifters

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