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Conflict Between Good and Evil

Parents: good - evil

Related: conflict - opposition - poetic justice

Fiction dealing with the conflict between good and evil: Heart of Darkness (1902) - Joseph Conrad


The Conflict Between Good and Evil is one of the most common conventional themes in literature, and is sometimes considered to be a universal part of the human condition. There are several variations on this conflict, one being the battle between individuals or ideologies, with one side Good, the other Evil. Another variation is the inner struggle in characters (and by extension, humans in reality) between good and evil. Conrad defined all humans as having an "inner evil" or Heart of Darkness in his novel. The Star Wars franchise is one of the best examples of the conflict, representing the outer and inner struggles. The inner conflict is shown in characters such as Luke Skywalker, who struggles between his inner evil and inner good, defined in the story as between the Dark side and the Light side. Meanwhile, the direct Good vs. Evil conflict is raging between the Empire, an evil tyrannical faction, and the Rebel Alliance who are trying to restore peace and democracy in the Galaxy.

The Inner Evil Conflict

Alternatively called the Heart of Darkness, due to its prominence in the novel of the same name.

While certainly not as widely-seen as the direct Good vs. Evil conflict, the concept of "individual vs. self" is often much more compelling to a reader/watcher, especially if it is the protagonist. In both literature and film, it requires well-written character development in order to truly succeed.

Conrad's version of the Inner Evil Conflict, widely seen as the most realistic one, known as the Heart of Darkness, is a human's struggle with their own morals, and their own battle with their hidden evil. Although first chiefly used in the novel, this improved device was commonly used, as opposed to the old devices used in literature before the turn of the century. It is a conflict that exists outside of literature as well, making it a universal truth of the human condition.

The Good vs. Evil Conflict
This convention is seen in almost every piece of literature that was written from the dawn of man. It has not much changed since then, as the basic concept is still in place: The side of Good battles Evil. Good usually triumphs. It is the platform for countless books, movies, graphic novels, and even documentaries. In modern times, some criticize the Good vs. Evil concept as being too unoriginal, and many have had their works not make the distinction between good and evil, rather focusing on the individual conflict. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_Between_Good_and_Evil [Dec 2005]

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