Student Question

What is the main conflict in The Blood Knot?

Quick answer:

The main conflict in The Blood Knot is the internal struggle each brother faces with their own identity. Morrie and Zachariah, as half-brothers with different physical appearances, navigate their place in society differently, leading to personal conflicts. Morrie often passes as white but regrets it, and both brothers must embrace honesty to maintain their mutual support, or "blood knot."

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The characters in The Blood Knot are involved in a number of interpersonal conflicts. The brothers Morrie and Zachariah compete as well as care for each other, and both are in constant conflict with white South African society. The central conflict, however, is one of human beings versus themselves. In their own way, Morrie and Zachariah both struggle to come to terms with their own identity. As half-brothers with very different physical appearances, they have totally different options for making their way in society. Morrie has often chosen the option of passing as white, although he often regrets the choice. Ultimately, each realizes in his distinct way that honesty is essential to survival because dishonesty destroys one’s sense of self. Each must come to this realization in order to enable and to value their mutual support, or “blood knot.”

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