Types of Conflicts – My Father Goes to Court

Types of Conflicts - My Father Goes to Court
Types of Conflicts – My Father Goes to Court

Conflicts portrayed in “My Father Goes to Court” consist of personal conflicts and social conflicts. Personal conflicts are often characterized by a character who is struggling internally with some aspect of themselves or their lives.

For example, in Chapter 1, Hubie’s mother does not agree with Hubie’s decision to become a lawyer because she believes that it is his father’s dream, not his own. Social conflict consists in characters struggling with other people or circumstances outside themselves and there interaction with one another.


For example, in Chapter 1, the judge cannot understand Hubie’s argument that his decision to become a lawyer is his own independent choice, rather than just following in his father’s path. Also in Chapter 1, Hubie is disrespected by some of the people in the gallery when he stands up and speaks to defend his case.



Personal conflicts: Hubie Vs Court System
Personal conflict refers to internal struggles that take place within a character. In “My Father Goes To Court”, personal conflict takes shape between Hubie and the court system. The controversy began when the judge questioned Hubie’s motivation for wanting to be a lawyer.


The judge’s doubt in Hubie’s intentions was a result of his father being a superior blue-collar worker who had just been laid off. In the beginning of the poem, Hubie appears as a confident young man with a strong moral character.


He claims that he “doesn’t work for glory or money”, and that he is becoming a lawyer in order to defend those who can’t speak up for themselves. This eventually contradicts his statement when Hubie expresses how much money he actually wants to make as a lawyer compared to his peers. The tension increases when the judge keeps questioning Hubie’s motivation for becoming a lawyer. It is after Hubie’s father is laid off that Hubie makes his decision.


This conflict is expressed by Hubie making a determined statement, “Nobody can take away my right to choose what I have to do with my life”.

After the judge’s final jab of doubt, Hubie takes a defiant stand in front of the court and refuses to compromise in any aspect of his life including his goals for becoming a lawyer. He states that he will “fight for justice for all” and “try to make a difference.”


Social conflict: Court Vs Social System
Social conflict occurs within society itself rather than within a specific character.


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