We reexamined the kinds and types of conflicts using the Conflict Power Point. Students studied this earlier in the year, but a review never hurts. Also, we discussed how there is usually one major conflict within a novel, however, sub-plots are created to add interest to the novel. These sub-plots progress through mini – conflicts which assists the reader in critically analyzing how the interaction of specific literary elements (in this case - conflict and setting) lead to character development drawn from student inferences.
Together, we identified the main conflict of the novel, Tangerine, by Edward Bloor. Students identified numerous conflicts, finally we agreed that the major conflict was Person vs Self, an internal conflict. Paul struggling with his ability to appreciate himself drove the novel in various directions for Paul to accept himself as a competent young man with admirable scruples.
As previously stated, numerous mini-conflicts contributed to Paul's character development. Through the style of writing, journal writing, students recognized the value of knowing Paul's personal thoughts about various conflicts faced throughout the novel. They were able to consider all these influences as Paul's characterization developed and became a more complicated character than portrayed in the exposition.
Students created a tree map, identifying and classifying minor conflicts that occurred throughout the novel. They included notations of the details and effects on the involved characters - specifically Paul and how he viewed the conflicts. Their inferences were explicit as they determined valuable meaning from this exercise.
In a final analysis, students chose three conflicts to explain how these incidents affected the development of the protagonist, Paul.
Information required included: three mini-conflicts, characters, setting, and other elements contributing to the conflict, how these experiences related to Paul's self-esteem, and textual evidence to support the student's inferences.