How to Make Conflict Mans vs Nature

How to Make Conflict Mans versus Nature

Conflict mans vs nature has been going on for a long time, both in literature and in real life. There are only a few humans in the world who are truly able to live in harmony, friendship and unity with nature. However, in writing literary stories, even those that are friendly to nature can turn out to be the opposite.

So, what exactly is the conflict between the story of humans versus nature?

Do you have an interesting life story to tell into a novel but are confused about how to write it?

Definition Mas vs Nature Conflict

Mans vs Nature

Human versus nature conflict is when the protagonist, either alone or together with other characters, is directly opposed to the forces of nature. There are some events or situations in nature that cause problems to occur. If more than one story character is affected, then the story characters must work together to overcome the problem.

Nevertheless, humans versus nature does not mean that there will be no antagonists in the story. Antagonist characters will still exist, but the main conflict is the condition of nature itself. It can be present in various forms such as hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods or whatever is usually present in literature.

In certain conditions, character conflicts against nature sometimes occur because there are elements of nature that become obstacles to block the protagonist’s way of achieving his goals.

On other occasions, you may notice that nature itself represents the ‘protagonist’ in the story. While humans and what they do is the antithesis. The etymological conflict between humans and nature does not only mean that nature is against humans personally, but also humans as a whole.

Mans vs Nature as a Theme or Story Conflict

Actually, in writing fiction, humans versus nature is not a theme, but a conflict. You can write about the theme of struggle, about death and love, or about romance and youth, or any other writing theme that you can combine with human conflict against nature.

Between the theme and conflict in the story there is a significant difference. Conflict encourages the entire story building such as characters and plots to move and act. While the theme is the overall meaning of a story. The theme can be conveyed by the author through various elements of the story such as characters, settings, and conflicts.

In writing about the conflict between mans versus nature, there are many themes that might emerge. The theme collaborates with conflict to enhance the story, including the human conflict against the universe. Both work together to convey a message to the reader.

Several Types of Conflict in Fiction Writing

Mans vs Nature

Mans versus nature is just one type of conflict. There are seven other main types of conflict and they become the central conflict in various writings of fiction. These seven conflicts can be great story base ideas regardless of the type of genre and medium in which they are told.

The seven main conflicts are as follows:

  1. Man against man (character versus character)
  2. Man against society (story character versus society)
  3. Man against nature
  4. Humans versus the supernatural (story characters versus supernatural forces)
  5. Humans against technology (characters against technology)
  6. Man against himself (story character against himself)
  7. Man against destiny (story character against destiny)

Several Human Sub-Conflicts Against Nature

The conflict in the story is divided into two major categories, namely internal conflict and external conflict. All conflicts other than humans against oneself are included in external conflicts, which means that the forces that are opposed by the story characters come from outside themselves.

Man versus nature is an excellent external conflict for a story for many reasons. First; because there are many ways nature can cause problems for your characters

If a story character faces a natural disaster, for example, there are so many choices, such as: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, blizzards, avalanches, volcanic eruptions, dust storms, forest fires and so on.

To make it easier for you to identify which type of conflict versus nature is most appropriate for you to use in the story, here are the 5 most common types of sub-conflict in human versus nature conflict writing.

1. Natural Disasters (Natural)

The first type of human conflict against nature is a natural disaster. It’s a simple type of conflict and it’s easy for everyone to read the direction of the story.

In conflicts that highlight natural disasters, humans are forced to face nature, which is angry and comes in the form of disaster. These disasters themselves can occur naturally or be caused by human activity, all of which can be good story magnets.

Hurricanes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, flash floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and so on, are some examples that you can use to build conflict in the context of natural disasters.

2. Natural Disasters due to Human Action

Specifically in this conflict, nature turned hostile due to human actions. So, there are human actions that cause imbalances in nature which then lead to disasters that endanger humans and their entities.

The effect of humanity’s attempts to control nature is another conflict that arises in real life and in stories. This can be present in the form for example; over-farming, deforestation, resource depletion, and pollution can all serve as story ideas.

For example, you write a society that uses excessive pesticides that not only kill pests, but also destroy other living things as a counterbalance. In the aftermath of this, then you can add an uncontrolled population explosion which then destroys human life.

3. Efforts to Survive in an Unfriendly Environment

Mans vs Nature

When characters encounter resistance or struggle in nature, such as surviving in a hostile new environment, this can be a great way to explore conflict and other, more internal themes.

The forces of nature in this case can be a metaphor for inner conflict.

Stories that explore survival efforts in the wild, wilderness, middle of the sea or arid deserts are part of the natural conflict against humans for this one sub-conflict.

The point is when humans are forced to make every effort to survive in the natural environment that they have just entered, then this species can also be part of a survival effort in a hostile environment.

4. Apocalyptic or Post-Apocalyptic Environment

The type of story that is most familiar with this sub-conflict is a dystopia. You can build a condition that gives an idea of ​​how the challenges the story characters have to face to live in a terrible apocalyptic environment.

The trigger for the apocalypse in this context is of course not the apocalypse in terms of religious terminology. This is an apocalypse by definition of the destruction of the universe and the earth due to a very severe global disaster.

For example, you can write a story about a world after a nuclear war, after a pandemic that killed 90% of the world’s population, or after a great meteor crash. Now the story’s character’s attempt to live in a terrible environment is the main conflict later.

5. Limited Natural Resources

The last sub-conflict between humans and nature is the limited natural resources that force humans to try, fight and fight for the remaining resources. As a writer, for example, you can imagine what if there is no fresh water suitable for drinking in an area, so that people fight over the last remaining water source.

The limited resources still present in nature is a good problem to start the story with. You can explore the limitations of basic non-renewable resources or even something more significant than that.

Drought can be a disaster as well as over-exploitation, and you can also link it into a disaster due to limited natural resources. Running out of coal, oil, fighting over food sources and so on can be a good conflict to start a story.

Some Examples of Conflict Mans vs Nature ini Novels and Movies

Mans vs Nature

There are lots of examples of mans versus nature conflicts that you can easily find in both films and novels.

If you are interested in raising this conflict in your writing as well, reading or looking at some of the following examples can give you a richer perspective on this one conflict.

1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Santiago, the protagonist in this novel, has respect for nature. The honor has given him a livelihood as a fisherman. In addition, Santiago’s character is also an interesting personification for various elements in nature.

But the conflict between man and nature occurs when he has to fight the sea and giant fish to regain his lost status in society. Santiago is forced to struggle when his catch is attempted to be stolen by a flock of sharks.

The theme that illustrates this conflict is about struggle and persistence.

2. Dune by Frank Hebert

Although the story in this novel is full of political intrigue and social criticism, the core conflict is the environment. And of course because of that it falls into the human versus nature category.

Each planet’s environment shapes its civilization’s features, and water scarcity is a major plot point. The overall message is that humans and nature will always be in conflict. And in the end one will always destroy the other.

3. Merapi Barat Daya by Anton Sujarwo

The theme of this novel is about adventure, the search for identity and romance, but the conflict is still human against nature. Antagonist character also exists in the novel, however, the author uses it to give a greater impression about the story character’s fight with nature.

The big landslide on Mount Merapi due to a phreatic eruption, the fall of a climber climbing a cliff and the collapse of one of the peaks of Merapi are natural illustrations which are the main conflict in the story in this novel.

4. Cast Away

The conflict between humans and nature occurs when the main character, played by Tom Hank, survives a plane crash and must survive on a remote island.

Themes of human reason and the will to survive are explored as the protagonist learns to survive on the island and then finds his way home.

In addition to the struggle for survival, this conflict also explores the theme of nature as a means of reconnecting with what is important in the protagonist’s life journey.

5. Twisters

The film Twister is a delightful example of a human versus nature story, specifically natural disasters.

The story in this film follows a group of storm chasers. They were determined to capture a more complete picture from inside a raging tornado.

As the tornadoes grow stronger and deadlier, the film shows how dangerous it can be to recklessly pursue impossible goals. In addition, this film also shows the destruction that can occur as a result of such a decision.


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