What is the main conflict in Skylark?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The main conflict in Skylark is humans versus nature. The novel is primarily concerned with the effects of drought on the settlers living in the prairie. The shortage of water is a very serious problem for all the living creatures, not just the people, as the natural environment is greatly transformed by the drought. The white, European-American settlers make their livelihood by both farming and ranching, which require large amounts of water for the plants and animals. Other negative effects of the arid conditions are fire, which sometimes erupts and is a constant threat.

The dire conditions also contribute to conflicts within some characters. Everyone has to adjust their behavior to accommodate to the limited amounts of water available. Sarah feels alienated from the drastically changed environment and at one point even declares her hatred for it. Her conflict is alleviated but not resolved by visiting Maine. Both her internal conflict and the larger conflict with nature are resolved by the news of her pregnancy and that it rained back home.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial