Conflicting Forces, By Laurence Sterne, No Body, But He Who Has Felt It

2678 Words Apr 23rd, 2016 11 Pages
Conflicting Forces Conflicting forces, in definition, are a struggle or clash between two or more opposing forces. On the topic of conflicting forces, Laurence Sterne wrote, “No body, but he who has felt it, can conceive what a plaguing thing it is to have a man’s mind torn asunder by two projects of equal strength, both obstinately pulling in a contrary direction at the same time.” Mr. Sterne is explaining how a person can be easily broken apart by these conflicting forces. The two voices in one’s head are constantly at war, leaving their host lost and stuck in between two sides. The person’s brain is torn apart, piece by piece, until he is left insane. The opposing forces trap him in fetters, leaving the person to only think of his predicament. These conflicting forces are normally derived when their host has something to hide. An action so terrible, the person has to keep his wrong doing a secret. The person then questions what he is required to do. Each voice in his head offers an idea to cleanse his mind, but each suggestion comes with a price. Each equally as good, and equally as bad. The host is left to just keep his pain to himself, living a miserable life. He is slowly dying with each day he lives under this curse. After committing adultery, Arthur Dimmesdale is forced to live with these opposing forces in his head. Although Nathaniel Hawthorne first portrays Arthur Dimmesdale as a man of God in The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale is later stuck with conflicting…

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