What are the main conflicts in The Sisters Brothers?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question is super difficult to answer.  It's not hard because the book doesn't have much conflict. On the contrary, the book moves from one conflict to the next.  The brothers are always in conflict with each other.  They aren't sure about their boss, the Commodore.  It seems that everywhere they go, Eli and Charlie make enemies of people.  It's almost laughable at exactly how much trouble the two brothers seem to find.  

If I had to pick a single conflict as a main conflict, I would probably go with the conflict that the Commodore's contract puts on the brothers.  They are hired assassins, and they are quite cold about their job; however, they do have standards about their targets.  The brothers are to initially kill a man named Warm, but unlike all of their other targets, Warm seems like a perfectly nice and innocent guy.  Charlie and Eli take the contract, and as they search for their target they run into conflict after conflict.  When they do eventually find Warm, their suspicions are confirmed about Warm.  He is a nice guy, and the brothers see no reason to kill him.  That means Eli and Charlie have to return to the Commodore and kill him.  Without the Commodore giving the initial contract, the brothers would never have had to deal with all of its repercussions.  That's why I choose the Commodore and the brother's conflict as the main conflict. 

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The Sisters Brothers

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