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Conflict in Maniac Magee

Instructor: Ashley Smith

Ashley has taught elementary school and has a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

In this lesson we will discuss internal conflicts and external conflicts in the book ''Maniac Magee'' by Jerry Spinelli. We will consider both person vs. person conflicts and person vs. society conflicts.

What Is Conflict?

Have you ever had two opinions about a topic that were different from each other? Did it seem like you were having an argument with yourself in your head? This is an example of conflict. A conflict is an argument or a disagreement. An internal conflict occurs when a person has conflicting ideas within himself or herself. In 'Maniac Magee', when it came to racial differences, Maniac did not have an internal conflict. He paid no attention to skin color of people in Two Mills and that allowed him to get to know people on both sides of the racial divide in town.

Have you ever had an argument with someone? The main types of conflict in Maniac Magee are external conflicts, or arguments with others. Both person vs. person and person vs. society conflicts are featured in the story.

Person vs. Person

One person vs. person conflict in Maniac Magee involves Maniac vs. Mars Bar. The Maniac vs. Mars Bar conflict started when Maniac arrived in the East End of town. Mars Bar accused Maniac of thinking he was 'bad.' He shouted at Maniac and took a book from him. Maniac grabbed it back and a page got ripped from the book. Later, Mars Bar tries to get Maniac to fight him. He said, 'You wanna tell me why I ain't so bad fish? Go ahead, 'fore I waste ya.' In the end, Maniac and Mars Bar overcome their conflict and become friends.

Another person vs. person conflict in the book involves Mars Bar vs. John McNab. It started when Maniac took Mars Bar to McNab's house. John McNab jumped and landed right behind Mars Bar, scaring him. Mars Bar tried to go after McNab but Maniac stopped him. Mars Bar called McNab a 'fishbelly' and told him not to worry about him coming back because his house smelled. That angered McNab and he tried to go after Mars Bar. The conflict ended when Maniac took Mars Bar out of the house.

Person vs. Person Conflict
person vs person

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