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Conflict also arises within these protagonists as they reconcile their rebellious spirits with a natural desire for community acceptance

Battling Beliefs: Character vs. Society Conflict in Literature

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One internal struggle that frequently drives rich storytelling is the clash between a character’s personal beliefs and the social norms of their world. Great works of literature often feature protagonists who defy societal expectations to follow their path, creating riveting tales of non-conformity, self-discovery, and challenging preconceived notions.

This blog discusses examples of character vs. social conflict in multiple pieces of literature.

Iconic Works of Literature

Planet Saviors, Raymond Hunter

The character of Stella provides an interesting case study of this kind of character versus society conflict. Stella comes from an advanced alien civilization called Mund that has intentionally designed itself to be a utopian paradise through genetic engineering. However, this has made the population relatively passive and needs more creativity and passion over time.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

In 1930s Alabama, Atticus Finch makes the controversial decision to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman, despite overwhelming racist attitudes of the time. His principled belief in equal justice under the law flies directly against the entrenched segregationist views of his small-town community. Atticus faces social ostracization threats of violence and struggles to convince an all-white jury of his client’s innocence.

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton’s

Johnny Cade Hinton’s classic rebelled against the rigid social codes dividing rich and poor “Greasers” from wealthy “Socs” in 1960s Oklahoma. As a troubled teen scraping by in a broken home, Johnny is pressured to conform to the hardscrabble norms of his Greaser gang. Johnny’s non-conformist sensitivities result in mockery, bullying, and even danger from the richer Socs. Ultimately, he proves himself a hero by fiercely protecting his best friend, Ponyboy, despite facing disapproval from both sides of the city’s socioeconomic divide for refusing to embrace either role fully.

Wrapping Up

These narratives highlight how social conditioning often stunts human complexity and potential by demanding conformity above all else. However, visionary characters refuse to be reduced to stereotypes or blindly obey false notions of “normalcy.” Their defiance of expectations stirs introspection, provokes cultural evolution, and reminds us that societal progress depends on mavericks seeing beyond constructed norms to recognize shared humanity.

character vs society conflict
Protagonist battles illuminate the full spectrum of human nature beyond any mold.

Get Your Copy of Planet Saviors by Raymond Hunter!

Raymond Hunter transports readers on an entertaining journey as curious alien Stella travels to Earth on an improvised quest to recruit creativity from humankind. In Planet Saviors, Stella seeks to understand what makes Earthlings so imaginative while discovering insights that could save her genetically engineered people, who have lost their passion for life. The story promises an engaging intergalactic adventure with thought-provoking reflections on what it means to be human.

For the full story, grab your copy today!

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