Conflict Leads to Change

By: Mae Artang

Conflicts are unavoidable in every life, no matter how many lives you can look at there will be a conflict. With conflict comes change, a change in life or a change in character. A simple example of this is when something happens in someone's life and they need to get rid of a pet. The conflict would be that they can no longer care for the pet, the change being they have to give up the pet for the rest of their life.

Zero Day, By : Jan Gangsei

There are more complex examples can be shown in books. Zero day is a good example of how emotional conflict leads to change in character. Zero day focuses on a girl named Addie ,the daughter of a senator. When she was eight years old she went missing and nobody has seen her since. Now eight years later she has returned, but life is not how it was before. People change, three main examples are Addie herself, her best friend Darrow, and her sister Elinor. Their changes are all proven here.

“ A lump formed in Addie’s throat, picturing this other Darrow; th young teenager, stuck in a no-man’s -land between the confident Senior she knew today and the sweetboy she’d been friends with as a child. Addie couldn’t help but feel responsible somehow, like her disappearance had knocked the universe off its axis. First Elinor’s addiction; now this. Addie had suffered but they had suffered too. Enough was enough.(gangsei pg.176)”.

The central conflict here is that when Addie disappeared eight years earlier she impacted the lives of close friend and family dramatically. Addie herself changed she believes that she is stronger than ever, she carries the weight of the world around because she believes that only she can save it. Darrow blames himself for the disappearance of Addie, before her disappearance he was her best friend. The guilt eventually lead him to some sketchy friend, some drugs, and an accident. Now drug free the event still plagues Darrow. Elinor was effected as well by Addie’s disappearance, her character changed. She was quiet and serious, now she is a monster who uses rumors and exacts revenge out of malice, not only her character changed. When she was prescribed painkillers for a track injury, she became addicted to the pill. It got bad enough that she had to go to rehab for treatment. Addie’s disappearance changed the path that everyone close to her would take later on in life.

The Bar Code Tattoo

While Zero Day showed emotional conflict and change, The Bar Code Tattoo shows physical conflict and change. Kayla is a teenage girl going to high school when she makes a choice that will change her life. The bar code tattoo has become a popular way to pay for goods, by storing all the information people need to get jobs, or pay for goods. When Kayla’s father kills himself because of the tattoo, Kayla begins to suspect that the tattoo is more than just a handy tool. When Kayla decides not to get the tattoo she becomes an outcast in high school, joining a group of ani-tattoo people. She makes friends with a boy named Mfumbe, and falls in love with Zekeal. Eventually her choices force her to flee the city, and live on the run as a wanted fugitive, where she meets up with Mfumbe again. Making their way to people like themselves they reach a mountain where they live out a civilization together, but they begin to change.

“ ‘ But something unexpected has happened. People everywhere have begun developing heightened psychic ability. Many of them are here in the mountains because those are people resisting the tattoo. Eutonah’s theory is that psychic abilities are rising because people have been shut out of society as it exists. When these people are forced out of normal ways of behaving, they find new ones. This is called adapting. Our ancient apelike ancestors adapted to change in their physical environment. Maybe it was the Ice Age or being forced from the jungles out onto the Savannas. But something made them change. They began standing on two feet to see farther and their brains grew larger because they needed more brain power to survive in a harsher environment. In the same way, we’ve had our social environment changed and we are adapting. Adapting in an exciting way. There’s a man here who can move things with his mind. There are about fifteen women who can heal just by laying their hands on someone...”

Because their social life changed their physical life began to change as well. They lived alone out of society, hiding out. The conflict here being isolation, the people are isolated from everything they know they need to change in order to survive. The change here would be that they are developing psychic powers to fight and survive. They develop telepathy to communicate with each other, as not to make noise that can be heard. The powers grow stronger as they continue to stay isolated from civilization. The conflict in the book is we need to survive differently from other people, the change would be people developing powers to survive on their own.

If I Should Die Before I Wake, By Han. Nolan

The last two books focused on emotional and physical changes, this last book shows how a change in personality can affect an entire life. If I Should Die Before I Wake is the story of a girl named Hilary. Hilary joins a gang that is anti-jewish, the boys in the gang go around torment jewish kids, Hilary likes what the they are doing, she does not care about the jewish kids. One day her and her boyfriend, Brad were riding on his motorcycle and their was a crash. Hilary ended up in the hospital with a coma. In the coma Hilary is living the life of Chana a jewish girl during world war two. Struggling between her life and Chana’s Hilary recalls what her life was like before she hated jews, before her father died. When her father died her mother ran away for three days, leaving Hilary home alone with nothing to eat but a little bread, Hilary was five at the time. For this Hilary would never forgive her mother.

“Telling me how the lord made her see the light and how she was going to make it all up to me. How was she was never going to leave me again. Right she could never make that up to me. Never. She can’t get off so free and easy-breezy like that.”

Hilary would never forgive her mom for what happened, this would change her for ever. The conflict here is that her mom left her, the change is that Hilary would never trust her mom again. As a result Hilary carries the weight of her father’s death on her own. With no one to rely on the closes up the lives in her own world watching the world around her. Eventually she will join the gang and meet her boyfriend,Brad. Then the motorcycle accident, that would turn her world into inside out forcing change into her life yet again.

Read and Ride Program Benefits Students' Learning and Physical Activity

Read and Ride

Conflicts happen in real life as well. An example of this is easily found at school. A common problem in schools getting a learning environment that keeps kids alert. Many schools search for solutions for this problems, one school has a unique solution to this problem. Wedgewood Elementary school has replaced a students desk chair with stationary bikes for when the children read. Students can go into the “Read and Ride” room in order to complete their reading assignments, this gives the kids exercise time at the same time they are learning. The conflict that was being addressed in this situation is that children are not alert in classes. The change made here is that the children are give bikes to do their assignments on so that they stay alert.

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My Life

Although nobody likes to admit this but everyone has an example of conflict and change in their life. My conflict in my life was that I committed to too many activities. This fall I balanced traveling soccer, competitive gymnastics, and schoolwork. When I got a new soccer coach in the spring practices were going to increase, as I was already doing gymnastics four days a week, I could not fit in another three soccer days. There were going to be a lot of schedule conflicts every week and on top of school I could not manage it all. My change was I quit traveling soccer for the spring and joined a rec. Plus team that would practice less, after this soccer season I will be quitting entirely, so I can be less busy next year.

Seymour Snorkle

“With chopsticks did I sip my soup”

So stated Seymour Snorkle

“But that was much too difficult

So now I use a fork.”

Even poems funny as they are display conflict and change. Conflict does not to be life changing or extremely serious, they only need to make their point. In this poem Seymour is facing a conflict, his conflict is chopsticks are not a good tool to use for sipping soup. To solve this conflict Seymour must change his ways of sipping soup, Seymour changes his ways by sipping soup with a fork instead of using chopstick. Though Seymour’s choice was hardly practical and he will undoubtedly have to change again, this poem still represents conflict and change.

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