Inner Conflict In Robert Browning’s Short Story ‘Choices’ Essay

Inner conflict is the number one cause of depression and anxiety that is now found in approximately 3. 2 million Canadian youth in today’s society. It is often an internal fight, man against self, one of the hardest battle one will ever have to face. With daily life, choices are always presented, and are made much harder when one is dealing with self conflict themselves. In the short story “ Choices” Susan Kerslake presents us with a young lady, Peggy, who starts of with making simple choices in the beginning of the story and later on bigger decisions that impact her choices from before.

Another example of inner conflict is displayed in the poem “ My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning. In this poem the duke struggles with extreme jealousy towards his innocent duchess. In the short story “ The most Dangerous Game” Richard Connell presents us with the idea of the fearless and the fearful through the main character, Rainsford. In all three of these examples, we are given the three controlling aspects of inner conflict, fear, jealousy, and choices. Jealousy is something everyone has experienced, whether it be in friendships or relationships.

The uneasy vibe between the two people involved usually causes conflicts and high suspicions on what is and is not true. In the poem “ My Last Duchess” we see the duke green with envy when he suspects his duchess to be flirting with other men. The duchess knew nothing of that sort and continued receiving gifts and innocently flirting with other men, even under the duke’s watch. The duke who refused to stoop any lower than his superior level denied to express his emotions to the duchess. “ Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile?

This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together” (44-47). Although the duke refused to express his emotions they took over him, resulting in the murder of his duchess. Because of the Duke’s action he is faced with the consequences of his choices. The freedom of making choices is often overlooked when it comes to the consequences. Although sometimes the wrong choices could be the one to lead us to the right places in life, that rarely happens. In the short story “ Choices” Peggy and her friend, Ken, decide to go on a last minute vacation, during the ride towards their destination Peggy starts to contemplate her elationship with Ken.

In a split second Peggy finds herself in a car accident, and immediately is in concern for Ken. After finding out that Ken has just hit his head, Peggy is downed with the thought of staying together in this mutual “ friendship”. “ A hollow place began to open in her chest; cold sank in. He could get up and walk away. What if he did? He was the one who’d been through this with her. Whose idea had it been anyways? Who called whom? Out of the space in her chest came the feeling that it wouldn’t be enough, that she would be disappointed” (pg. 11).

In these lines it is clear that Peggy had realized that this relationship was not as important to Ken as it was to her, so she decides to move on. Peggy’s decision to move on is solely based on the fear of the unknown; would Ken stay with her because he felt guilty or would he move on? The essential instinct for survival for both humans and animals is fear. The controlling aspect of where fear is found is in the amygdala gland, that controls your senses and muscles – “enabling your body to quickly react to the sound of a threat”. Because of the amygdala gland there is two responses to fear, “fight or flight”.

And this is the reason why General Zaroff in the short story “ The Most Dangerous Game” finds hunting animals too easy, because of their response to fear, flight. Humans on the other hand are intellectual creatures who take the fight stance when it comes to fear, hence creating a challenging chase that the General wishes for. When Rainsford is introduced to General Zaroff he takes his chance for another interesting chase with his new huntee. Rainsford, who had been earlier dismissing the fact that animals had fear when being hunted was soon faced with the same situation he had never expected.

Fearful, Rainsford takes on the challenge of being hunted, by General Zaroff. During his three days of survival, General Zaroff has faced reality of Rainsford winning the challenge. “ The general sucked in his breath and smiled. “ I congratulate you,” he said, “You have won the game. ” Rainsford did not smile, “ I am still a beast at bay. he said, in a low hoarse voice. “ Get ready, General Zaroff. ” The general made his deepest bows. “ I see, he said. “ Splendid! ’ One of us is to furnish for the hounds the other will sleep in this very excellent bed.

On guard, Rainsford. . . .” He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided (lines 208 – 215). Fearless, Rainsford kills the general, despite his thoughts of murder being a cold-blooded act. The choices people make are often in a result form jealousy and fear. In the the poem “ My Last Duchess” the duke displayed not only signs of jealousy but fear as well, that his duchess would be taken away from him. Because of this threatening thought, the duke made his choice to murder his duchess, and dealt with the consequences of having to find a replacement.

In the short story “ Choices” Peggy is forced to realize that her relationship with Ken is over, although he decision might of caused her fear of being alone, she knew it was worth it. In the last short story “ The Most Dangerous Game” Rainsford chooses to undergo a dramatic character change, consequenting the result of change of worldviews and beliefs making him a less fearful person but more so fearless. As demonstrated in the poem and all the short stories, inner conflict gives you the decision to make a choice, change it, and take chances.