April 24, 2019
Rich McKee’s book “The Culprit: A Florida Story” portrays the conflict of man vs. himself. The most discernible conflict illustrated by the author is faced by the character himself. The central character of the story Sean McDuff encounters a conflicting situation in which he fights an internal battle. The conflict of man vs himself becomes apparent when McDuff explores that he is suffering from cancer and has only a year to live. He faces complexity when he is required to choose between living or loving life. The diagnosis of the terminal disease brings him to a state where he witnesses the harsh reality of life. The conflict becomes visible when Sean buys a car bomb from an old Army Reserve acquaintance and plots a suicide plan for blowing the entire school.
Constant war encountered by the character is apparent in his emotional struggles. In the book, McDuff undergoes emotional distress due to the loss of his loved wife. He struggled hard to settle and overcome his loss of life by focusing his attention on his profession. He became devoted to his profession as a professor and aimed at implementing the business model operating system at the college culture. He enjoyed his work and gave himself to his mission of establishing a new business model. This reflects the strength and power of the professor to stand against fate. However, diagnosis of the terminal illness again takes him to a self-destructive state where he witnesses hopelessness and disappointment. The inner state reflects a constant fight as McDuff thinks, “you would think a good teacher, especially a professor could cast off depression from personal loss, and growing disgust with a profession” (McKee).
Restless nights and dreams reflect that McDuff is undergoing an inner conflict of man vs himself. The conflict becomes prominent when “one day she's here and happy then next to the horrendous harbingers- headaches wrenching neck pain” (McKee). The quote reflects that the character is undergoing constant war. In dreams McDuff narrate the events that are linked to his miserable past. The conflict between man vs himself convinces him to believe that he is misfortunate and lacks love in his life. The conflict is visible because the man continues to suffer from his personal tragedy. Although he attempts to overcome his misery by indulging himself in his work and profession but still the thoughts from past undermines his peace. The deeper analysis of the situation depicts that it is not in control of the professor to deal with his depression or anxious state.
The interaction of McDuff with other characters exhibits conflict of man vs himself. The inner conflict becomes apparent when McDuff misses his wife. The states, “Jane, keep in mind that if you add a smart husband to your life, and of course you are no dummy, then maybe one more intelligent kid won’t hurt. The odds are with you” (McKee). The quote reflects that the idea of other people's marriage makes him realize about his own past. He has not been able to forget his wife and still felt the emptiness. To overcome such conflict McDuff attempts to get close to Jane. However irrespective of his efforts he still continues to feel the absence of his wife. He looks into his past that makes him more miserable because he is unable to accept reality. The pattern of thoughts of McDuff transmits self-destruction and inner damage.
Feelings of McDuff for jane transmits the themes of inner conflict. The conflict experienced by the professor is man vs himself because he finds himself in a situation where he needs to make a choice. His feelings are troubled when he starts liking Jane. However, he is still unable to get rid of his wife's love. This puts him in a challenging situation because at one point he is trying to maintain his relationship with Jane while on the other point his feelings for his wife is preventing him from doing that. The inner battle becomes strong with every passing day that makes it difficult for McDuff to take any clear decision. the assessment of the conflict experienced by the central character depicts that it adds more depression and anxiety for him.
The decision of McDuff to explode the bomb reflects the inner conflict. The analysis of the professor's situation depicts that he is unable to get rid of his anxiousness that convinces him to take a negative role. The conflict of man vs himself becomes apparent when he thinks about taking revenge from the world. This again brings him to a confusing state where he needs to choose between right and wrong. on one side he cared for the school and wanted to see its progress. His efforts for the implementation of the business operation model reflects his concerns for the school. However, his depression gets so enormous that he turns against his own idea of working for the welfare of the school.
The overall analysis of McDuff's character depicts that he encounters man vs himself conflict. This is because the choices he makes reflects that he is constantly undergoing inner battle. The actions that he takes are also the product of his inner conflict. His struggles for the feelings of Jane and his wife confirms that he is the victim of self-conflict.
McKee, Rich. The Culprit: a Florida story. CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2013.
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