What is the main conflict in the story "The Cop and the Anthem"?

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Another conflict dominates in the story, and it is the conflict of man versus self.

Soapy's internal struggle centers on his warring selves: is he Soapy the criminal or Soapy the respectable citizen? Will he commit crime in order to receive a temporary reprieve from privation and cold? Or, will he return to the principles of his childhood and turn his life around, work an honest job, and live an honorable life?

Soapy's main goal is to stay out of the elements during the winter season. He also wants three warm meals a day. In past years, his solution to his overriding challenge was to get himself in trouble with the law. As the story progresses, we get the idea that Soapy is using a familiar repertoire of tricks to get himself arrested.

He tries to get a free meal at an expensive restaurant, pretends to accost a young lady, and tries to steal somebody else's umbrella. Of course, none of his usual tricks "work." The cops are irritated and exhibit little concern about Soapy's antics....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 603 words.)

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