What is external conflict?


External conflict in literature is any tension between one person and another force. There are three basic types of external conflict: Man vs Man, Man vs Nature, and Man vs Society. Other possible conflicts include: Man vs Machine, Man vs Fate, Man vs Supernatural, and Man vs God.

Listed below are the conflict types and examples of these in literature, TV, or film:

  • Man vs Man: David and Goliath
  • Man vs Nature: The Old Man and the Sea
  • Man vs Society: 1984
  • Man vs Machine: The Terminator
  • Man vs Fate: Slaughterhouse Five
  • Man vs Supernatural: The Shining
  • Man vs God: Bewitched.
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