Internal and External Conflicts in The Secret Life of Bees

Internal and External Conflicts in The Secret Life of Bees

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  • Internal Conflict Lily fighting the truth
  • I'm so glad we're gonna finally talk this out.
  • This type of conflict is man vs. man. Zach getting arrested was all caused by the boy, Jackson, who threw a coke bottle at one the men standing by the ticket booth in front of the movie theater. The real reason he got arrested was because nobody wanted to admit who actually threw it so the police felt like they had no choice but to arrest all of them. In the text it says, " 'Which one of you threw that bottle?' one man said. The boys didn't open their mouths...I watched the policeman put Zach and the other three boys in his car." (pg. 179-180) All of them had to get arrested just because no one wanted to get anyone in trouble. He just "chose to stand there and be one of them" instead of telling the man who caused his injury to let himself go. Zach going to jail eventually lead May to kill herself. After she accidentally found out about the tragic news, she went to the river to drown herself by putting a stone on her chest. She was later found by Lily and August, but it was too late for her.
  • External Conflict Zach getting arrested
  • I can't tell on Jackson like that.
  • Bunch of cowards.
  • Which one of you threw that bottle?
  • This type of conflict is man vs. self. Lily is having trouble telling August the truth about her and Rosaleen so she keeps this to herself for awhile.  The two causes of this was Lily breaking Rosaleen out of the hospital because she didn't want to tell August that they were fugitives and her conscience telling her that something would go wrong.  The effects it has on Lily is just relief and she gets very emotional as well. In the story, it says, "August steps. I sat up straighter, taller, my heart starting to beat so I could hear it in my ears...I felt the tears gather in the back of my throat, and I didn't even know why." (pg. 234-236) This quote makes it obvious that she was nervous to let August know the truth and didn't know how to react when they were actually talking about it. Lily held all of that in for the longest time just to herself because she was too scared to be honest with her.
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