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Secret River, One's True Self Is Only Revealed in Conflict

In: English and Literature

Submitted By danahharbour
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One’s true self is only revealed during conflict

Conflict is generally a clash of interests, internally or externally. For this reason, ones true self is revealed only in conflict as in conflict we are revealing a truer self because conflict exposes things that aren’t generally exposed in everyday life as in conflict we become vulnerable, open to feeling and showing all emotions. The real question here is what is our true self? Is it the best that we can possibly be? Or the worse? Conflict is something that is seen everywhere in the world that surrounds us, in our mind and in the many modern novels, such as The Secret River by Kate Grenville.

Internal conflict is inside our mind, the struggle between two needs, urges, wants. An internal conflict could be that of a drug user, knowing that the drugs he takes are bad for him and more than likely will end up killing him, but the addiction is telling them that they need to have it. In most cases the internal voice of the addiction wins out. It is there to helps to define us and the life we lead. In the case of the drug user it reveals his true self as weak, unable to have the voice he wants to be heard, heard.

Conflict is revealed in the novel Secret River in many ways. One-way is how the Thornhill family live in poverty in London. They had to steal to survive. As a child his best side was revealed with the death of his parents and the sudden responsibility of ensuring the survival of his younger siblings was upon his shoulders. Through this need to survive, through this conflict, we see the truer William because he has to fight for all his worth, because he is giving his all, because he is not holding back. We see all that William can be at this time in his life. How in this period of conflict it is a fight for survival against hunger, poverty, the wealthy and London.

Ones of the most talked about conflicts there is, is war. It’s the clash of two opposing parties, with different views on the same thing. The question is that does war really reveal our true self as our best self. War can reveal ones truer self because they are fighting for survival, fighting for what they believe, or sometimes just fighting because they have been told to. It can be argued that in times of armed combat in war that our true self is nothing other than an individual valuing their life more than another. Pulling the trigger on a gun, moving one finger is enough to end another’s life, all because of different views on the same thing. In times of conflict such as war no one is completely innocent.

Conflict is inevitable; it is something that everyone will encounter. An individual’s response to conflict depends on their moral conscience, their strengths and weaknesses. A person’s public façade may differ and oppose drastically their true qualities. So yes conflict reveals ones true self. However the true self that is revealed may not be the self people want to be. It can be their best self or their worst self. Our true self could simply be weakness, or it could be that it is honest and strong. Everyone is different and so are our true selves.…...

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