Conflict in Lord of the Flies

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  • 0:03 What Is Conflict?
  • 1:10 Man vs. Nature Conflict
  • 1:44 Man vs. Man Conflict
  • 2:25 Man vs. Self Conflict
  • 2:50 Man vs. Society Conflict
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amanda Warren
In this lesson, learn what conflict is and how it's used in a novel. Sir William Golding uses four types of conflict in his well-known book, 'Lord of the Flies.' Read this lesson to learn more about each type of conflict and what it means.

What Is Conflict?

'Stop it! Give them back! You're going to break my glasses!' This poor person trying to keep his glasses safe is Piggy from William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Can you sense the frustration behind his words? This frustration tells you that his temper is rising and a serious argument is about to start, maybe even a physical fight. A conflict is an intense disagreement, like when Piggy and Jack fight over who can use the lens from Piggy's glasses to start a fire. Conflicts or problems are used by authors to make books more interesting and keep the story moving forward. Conflicts are usually verbal arguments, but they can lead to physical violence.

Conflict is usually explained by summarizing the two things that cannot agree with each other. This is similar to the way court cases explain the two sides that cannot agree with each other. Lord of the Flies is a great example of a novel that includes conflict because its author uses the four main types of conflict:

  1. Man vs. nature
  2. Man vs. man
  3. Man vs. self
  4. Man vs. society

Let's take a closer look at each of these types of conflict in the book.

Man vs. Nature Conflict

The first conflict Golding makes his characters face is man vs. nature. While the boys are stranded on the island, they must face problems that exist in the wilderness. The boys must find water, food, and shelter to survive. They also face different weather conditions. When wild animals are spotted, the boys need a plan to defend themselves. Overall, the children have to survive in a dangerous, wild environment that they are not used to back home. Once the boys learn to survive in the wild, the author needs to introduce new conflicts to keep the story moving forward.

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