The protagonist of the short story “Hunters in the Snow” by Tobias Wolff is Tub. The main conflict here is that of man versus man, namely Tub versus Kenny. This conflict serves as a core for other events of the story.
The rising of the conflict begins when Kenny points his rifle on the post and shoots. Frank and Tub, the other two hunters, are getting nervous, because Kenny is acting like mad. In fact, he is just fed up with it, because his hunting went wrong and he did not get himself a deer. So he points the rifle at the post, saying “I hate that post” (Wolff) and shoots at it. Tub and Frank try to calm him down, but Kenny won’t stop. When the farmer’s dog starts to bark at him, he says “I hate that dog” (Wolff) and points the gun at it and kills it. The climax of the conflict comes when Kenny turns to Tub, saying “I hate you” (Wolff). Naturally, Tub is nervous at the moment and shoots first, seriously injuring Kenny. The suspense is falling in the course of conflict after that. Kenny reveals to Tub and Frank that he was “just kidding around” and his whole action “was a joke” (Wolff). Thus, the conflict is resolved, but too late for Kenny. He won’t even live to see tomorrow, which we can suggest at reading the final lines of the story: “”I’m going to the hospital,” Kenny said. But he was wrong. They had taken a different turn a long way back” (Wolff).
Talking about realism of the conflict described in this particular short story, it appears to us that this kind of conflict might occur in life too in similar circumstances. The long unsuccessful hunting in cold weather with no man around – all this could have contributed to spoiling the nerves of those three hunters in such a way that one bad joke could result in killing.
Wolff, Tobias. Hunters in the Snow. Web. 2 July 2011.