Conflict comprises an integral part of literature and it helps authors to reveal their ideas in dynamics through the development and resolution of conflicts in their literary works. In fact, conflict is the problem or set of problems a narrator or characters have with the external world or with their own self. In such a way, the conflict can be either external or internal. However, whatever the conflict is, it always involves some problems characters or narrators of literary works have to deal with.
In this respect, it is possible to refer to Tobias Wolff’s Hunters in the Snow, the short story, which reveals numerous conflicts the main characters of the story face. In actuality, it is possible to distinguish multiple conflicts that exist in the story and lay the ground for the development of the story. In this regard, Kenny is particularly noteworthy character because, on the one hand, he suffers from the conflict with the outside world, including Tub, whereas, on the other hand, he apparently has a strong internal conflict, which provokes him to unexpected and unreasonable actions. In such a way, both internal and external conflicts of Kenny are closely intertwined.
Kenny seems to be in a conflict with the society because he does not care about anything and he is ready to destroy everything. As they go to the hunting, he shoots everything he sees, from a fencepost and tree to a barking dog. Remarkably, when Tub asks him |What did he ever do to you?” Kenny answers that “He was just barking.” (Wolff, 45). This is exactly, where the conflict of Kenny with the society manifests itself because, through shooting the dog, Kenny manifests his disrespect to the society and its norms, whereas the attempt of Tub to stop Kenny in his pointless cruelty leads to the conflict between him and Kenny. As a result, Kenny is ready to shoot Tub but the latter shoots first and resolves the beginning conflict fast. However, Kenny survives but is severely injured and needs to go to the hospital. At this point, the essence of his internal conflict becomes obvious for Kenny has certain expectations, which will never come true. He believes that he will go to the hospital but Wolff states that “he was wrong. They had taken a different turn a long way back.” (Wolf, 52). In such a way, Wolff uses the internal conflict to show the extent to which beliefs of individuals can mismatch the severe reality.
At this point, I could refer to my personal experience, when I had a conflict with the nature. To put it more precisely, I had a dog, whom I liked very much. He was like a family member for me. However, when my dog was eleven he fell ill and a vet told me that my dog would die soon. However, I did not believe it. I attempted to do my best to save my dog. I went to another vet but he told the same. I had never given up and I attended to more vets and got the same answer. Eventually, one morning, when I was about to call another wet, I found my dog lying dead next to his favorite place in our yard. In such a way, in spite of my desires, the nature has proved to be stronger.
Pearson, B. L. and McCulloch, B. Robert Johnson: Lost and Found. University of Illinois Press, 2003.
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Wolff, T. “Hunters in the Snow.” In Selected Short Stories. New York: Random House, 2009.