May 23, 2018
Conflict is a broad term covering many matters stretching from minute disagreements to full blown wars. There are also many diverse types of conflict that people experience every day, which include but are not limited to: person versus self, person versus person, and person versus society. Through three different short stories, the authors convey the different levels of conflict people face. Within the short stories “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury, “On the Sidewalk Bleeding” by Evan Hunter, and “The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty, there is an evident theme of all three types of conflict in each.
The authors of these three stories construct significant internal conflicts in their protagonists, making them relevant to readers. Albeit the situations presented may be outlandish, but the pursuit of companionship, identity, and a purpose are universal. Person versus self conflict is also known as internal conflict, and is something that everyone is familiar with. Internal conflict ensues in each of the three short stories, but present themselves in different ways. In the short story “The Pedestrian”, the protagonist, Leonard Mead is at conflict with himself. While everyone around him is watching T.V., or driving in their cars, he is strolling the different pathways in search of fresh air and company. Leonard experiences internal conflict whilst sauntering along the derelict roads of his city. The author depicts that Leonard is lonely and in search of a companion. Though he likes going for walks he wishes someone would accompany him. Leonard Mead goes on walks every solitary day for ten years, and the story discloses that “he had never met another person walking, not once in all that time.” (Bradbury 155) So even though the protagonist is fond of walking alone, and has reveries about places deprived of houses, he is nevertheless lonely. He experiences internal conflict that makes him want some real life interaction. In the story “On the Sidewalk Bleeding”, real life interaction is present, but actually adds to the person versus self conflict. In this story Andy, the protagonist, experiences internal conflict after realizing that had he not worn his jacket, he would be saved by the people who stopped near him. Andy ends up dying in the end, but not before taking off his purple Royals jacket, because he knows it is what was killing him. He is angry at himself for wearing it. He also is at conflict with himself on if he is actually dying or not. For instance, in the story it says, “No, he thought, I can’t be dying…Laura, this is stupid, but I think maybe I’m dying.” (Hunter 2) Within essentially the same thought, Andy quarrels with himself on whether or not he is dying. Andy certainly battles various ordeals throughout the story, as one would when they are dying deserted and alone. Another story in which the protagonist suffers through trials alone is in the story “The Sniper”. In t...