Types of Story Conflicts Between a Person and the Society
Effective ways to create a challenging story conflict between a person and the society
Over the time of human being existence, the social norms changed regularly depending on the political situation, environment, culture and ideas of particular individuals.
In every stage of the history, there were rules that had to be followed and if it happens so that a person brakes them, he or she gets a public or, at times, even obscure disapproval. Here where the conflict between a person and the society appears.
Make sure that a person has valid reasons to oppose a society
The society has its dominant views but they might be both ethical and unethical. The contradiction is a key in order to create a great plot for your story so presenting a clear reason for the action of the main character (be it a hero or anti-hero) is a must. The strong motivation of the character to confront what the society demands is important for the plot development.
Heighten the stakes for noncompliance to the social norms
The tension of the conflict makes the story interesting and thrilling. The higher level of emotions is displayed, the more engaging your story can be. Overwhelming odds and a perspective to pay a high price for breaking written or even unspoken social rules can create an intrigue that will make your story engaging.
However, for a successful piece of writing that should not be booed, be careful and keep a wise balance between being prejudiced or too open-minded while creating the plot and main characters. Ideally, your story needs to help resolve a conflict in a real life and, in no case, to elevate it further.
Enhance ‘person and society’ conflict by including the inner struggle of the main character
Trying to disapprove the defined but clearly unethical social dogmas can, by itself, draw the attention and the reaction of a person who does not agree with what the society says is pretty much clear. The rules influence your well-being so as a result, you decide to confront the usual social practices.
However, adding an inner conflict of the main character can bring an additional flare and interest to your piece of writing. An individual might get used to what is supposed to be correct so he agrees with what the society desires and considers the rules to be fairly reasonable. At the same time, the character can feel that he is not comfortable with the conventions, which make him unhappy. This inner struggle can enhance the ‘person and society’ conflict in your story and make it thrilling and memorable.
Think of how the conflict will be resolved
Pay attention to how you want to conclude your story.
Figure out for yourself whether you want to have a happy ending that may suggest a probable solution, which can potentially help resolve the real-life conflict between an individual and the society.
On the other hand, the conflict might be so complicated that all you can do is to give a food for thought to your readers so that they can start acting towards resolving it.
James Baldwin, one of America’s foremost writers, once said, “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.” Putting your character in the hardest conditions possible and showing how he managed to get over the obstacles can really make your story memorable.
For the order and the success in the society, the conforming to the defined norms is a must. The idea behind this is to avoid chaos, which can be destructive for the society in whole. However, there always will be people who would not wish to conform and act against any social norms.
Sometimes the protest is, in fact, justified, even if it is forbidden by the society, but sometimes people do indeed act inappropriately with regards to other members of the social structure. This is a human nature and we still have a lot to learn about how to properly handle the conflict without harming a particular individual while avoiding sabotaging the wellbeing of the whole society.