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Journal Two: Identifying Conflict in Two Texts

Read About Journals in ENG125: Introduction to Literature for more information about the purpose and expectations for journals.

This week, you continue writing your journal entries. This journal entry is designed to help you document ideas about conflicts in literature, which will contribute to the information required for the Week Three Draft and the Week Five Literary Analysis. Recognizing conflict is essential to understanding the various commentaries literature can provide.

In Journal One, you identified conflict as it might appear in our everyday world and from other sources. Now, consider the following definition of conflict and how it relates to literature from the textbook or the story/poetry links provided under the requirements for the Literary Analysis:

Conflict is opposing actions, ideas, and decisions that hold a plot together...the struggle that shapes the plot in a story.

Chapters 1-7 of our text contain a number of stories and poems, each of which rely on at least one conflict. Choose two of this week’s assigned literary works and write about the conflicts presented in each of them. In 250 to 500 words

  • State the specific conflicts you see in each work.
  • Describe the characters, forces, and/or entities that are at odds.
  • Explain why you think the conflicts are significant and what meanings/understandings they provide to the texts.
  • Paraphrase, quote, and/or summarize content from the works to support your observations. Don’t forget to add in-text citations for the works you draw from.
  • Explain how each conflict has meaning beyond the work in which it appears. Why is it important to be able to recognize conflict in a literary text and extend that understanding of conflict to the world at large?
  • From the stories you are reading, how much do similar elements of symbolism, metaphor, allusion, and/or allegory apply and add depth to an idea raised in the literature?
    • For instance, in George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, the pigs and farmers can be seen as symbolic of workers versus managers to make points about class struggles, calling into question the idea of equality in society.
    • In another example, in the “Story of an Hour,” the main character expresses personal conflict in her process of coming to terms with her husband’s supposed death. But this moment symbolizes more than just her personal grief. What does it suggest about societal expectations regarding women and how they should respond to grief? How might those expectations of grief still apply to women’s roles? How does the symbolism show a conflict between Mrs. Mallard and her own desires? Are these “women’s desires” in conflict with current social norms?
As you are writing this journal entry, please review the expectations for the Week Five Literary Analysis, which you are working toward throughout the course.

When submitting your journal entry, make sure to
  • Proofread your work for errors in grammar, mechanics, and style.
  • Format the journal entry according to APA style as outlined in the  Writing Center. Refer to the  Writing Center’s Sample APA Title Page for guidelines on formatting a title page in APA style.
  • Provide (to the best of your ability) a reference for the text you used, including in-text citations and references listed at the end of the journal entry. Refer to the  Writing Center’s Comprehensive APA Reference List Models and Citation and Reference Guide for guidelines on in text citations in APA style.
  • Provide a reference for the text you used. Refer to the Ashford Writing Center’s Citation and Reference Guide for guidelines on citing sources in APA style.
  • Perform a word count check to make sure the journal entry is 250 to 500 words in length.
  • Save the document as a Microsoft Word or compatible .doc or .docx file.

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