In "The Ransom of Red Chief", what was Bill's greatest internal conflict?

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Well, his internal conflict comes from the fact that the kid is so horrible, and he doesn't think that he's going to get the ransom money for him.  Bill states, in despair, "Ain't it awful, Sam? Do you think anybody will pay out money to get a little imp like that back home?"  When writing the ransom letter, "Bill begged me tearfully to make the ransom fifteen hundred dollars instead of two thousand."  He is honestly afraid that his parents aren't going to pay much to get the kid back.

However, this conflict for Bill might not be the one he has to suffer during every humiliating game he has to play with Red Chief.  He is humilated over and over again, but fights through that in order to achieve the prized money.  Near the end though, he lets Red Chief go and says, "I'm a grown person with masculine proclivities and habits of self-defense, but there is a time when all systems of egotism and predominance fail."  He just couldn't take it anymore; he struggled to tame  his ego, but the degradation was too much.  He loses the battle, and agrees to pay Red Chief's father to take him back.

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lwr | Middle School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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My resource gives me a choice of 1) whether or not to be part of kidnapping, 2) whether or not to let Red Chief escape, 3) whether or not to force the hostage to go home, or 4) whether or not to let Red Chief ride him as a horse.  Personally I much prefer another response, but, given these, I need to make an informed choice and am currentlly unable to reconcile my thoughts with either of them.  Help

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