What is the conflict in Black Beauty?

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The story of Black Beauty is essentially a chronology of the horse’s life. There is no single solitary conflict, but rather a series of events that propel him forward in life, both good and bad. The overarching conflicts in this book are mistreatment and displacement.

The majority of Black Beauty’s owners are violent and abusive towards him, riding and driving him to exhaustion and physically abusing him. This occurs many times in the book from many different owners.

Another conflict is displacement. Black Beauty gets shunted from owner to owner, never settling anywhere long until the end of the book. The climax of the novel occurs when one of his last owners pushes him to the verge of death and sells him immediately after he recuperates, embodying both of these conflicts.

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