What Is Character Vs. Society Conflict?

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The character versus society conflict is when a person believes in something regarding an issue in which the community disagrees. The person is then forced to make a decision to conform to what the community believes or risk public scrutiny for continuing to believe in what he feels is right.

The character versus society conflict is present in a lot of literary works. In the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the South during the 1930s, tries to prove that a black man, Tom Robinson, is innocent from a charge of rape against a white woman. During that period, it was socially acceptable, and even encouraged, that black men were automatically guilty of crimes that involved white women. Robinson didn’t rape the woman and Finch knew it for a fact. However, Finch was stuck in a character versus society conflict. Because he was a white man, the community pressured and threatened him to let Robinson be convicted of rape. According to SparkNotes.com, this book captures the “importance of moral education.” Finch was in a moral dilemma while defending Robinson. Moral education is also important in modern times because the conflict between character and society is more common due to the effects of social media and technology.