Conflicts in “Ashes for the Wind” Essay

In the short story “Ashes For the Wind” by Hernando Tellez, the author uses conflicts to develop the theme that sometimes we have to sacrifice our life to fight corruption. Juan, the protagonist, is a tenant who lives a peaceful life in the village with his wife Carmen and a new born baby. He involves in an external conflict when the corrupt government orders his family to move out of their own place. At the beginning of the story, Arevalo visits Juan’s farm house and tells him “it would be best for you to clear out”.

He then recalls his unpleasant encounter of the same man and a policeman in town; they treat him unfairly. With the policeman carrying whip, and others refusing to sell him oil, Juan senses he is in a bad situation. Moreover, Juan’s external conflict causes his internal conflict since he now faces the dilemma of whether they should move out of their own home.

He struggles to find an answer because either way they have to sacrifice something. On one hand he doesn’t want to give up his own place and let the authority wins; On the other hand he jeopardizes his family’s life if they don’t move out. A second intimidating visit soon comes. A Police man fires at his place and Arevalo just stands there “with hanging head”. In the end Juan chooses to stay in the farm with his wife and son, so they all die in a set up fire. Both external and intenal conflicts are resolved here when the authority appears to win but in fact the author sends out a message that people should not be intimidated and should stand up to corruption like Juan and his family do.

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