Conflicts Among People

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
1 hour

This lesson is about three short stories: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Flesh and the Spirit," and "Somnambulism."

Conflicts among people are the central issue in these stories.


Students will:
Understand the short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Understand the short story, The Flesh and the Spirit
Understand the short story, Somnambulism

Materials Needed

You will need the following information I have about the three stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Flesh and the Spirit, and Somnambulism.

Conflicts among people are the central issue in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Flesh and the Spirit," and in "Somnambulism."

Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones were both attracted to Katrina. When two people are attracted to the same person of the opposite sex, there will always be some kind of conflict.

Brom Bones acted immature because he would do whatever he could to get what he wanted. This showed he acted immaturely. Children do whatever they can to get what they want.

Brom Bones and his men played pranks on Ichabod Crane. They wanted to cause trouble, so Ichabod Crane would give up and leave town. Brom Bones wanted Katrina for himself. One night, Brom Bones and his men plugged up the chimney, which smoked out the school. After that, they broke into the school and turned everything upside down. He also ridiculed Crane in front of Katrina. Later on, Brom Bones invited Ichabod Crane to the Van Tassel's. Ichabod danced with Katrina while Brom Bones sat brooding in one corner. That night, the headless horseman followed Ichabod and caused him to fall from his horse.

After that, Ichabod Crane disappeared and Brom Bones finally got what he wanted. He married Katrina. However, he got what he wanted by using evil pranks. He didn't give up. As a result, evil won over good in this story.

In contrast, good reigned in "The Flesh and the Spirit." This story was about two sisters who had different fathers. Flesh had a natural father, and Spirit's father was in heaven. Flesh asked Spirit if she had treasures laid up in heaven. She also asked her if she planned on dwelling up there soon. Flesh said there were more silver, pearls, and gold in earth. She also said that earth had plenty of what she needed.

Spirit did not want to listen to Flesh. She also said she would fight her if she needed to stop her from her evil deeds. Spirit told her that her ambitions were in heaven and that nothing compared to the freedom she would have in heaven. Only pure people will dwell in heaven. No evil or unclean things will enter heaven.

People need to stand firm for what they believe and not let other people convince them of the contrary. Flesh tried to entice Spirit away from the things of heaven, but Spirit remained firm in her faith and her ambitions of heaven. Flesh tried to make Spirit aware of the benefits of earth. However, Spirit did not give in to the things Flesh told her.

Another conflict occurs in "Somnambulism," but in a different way. Althorpe was attracted to Constantia Davis and was so obsessed with her safety that he had visions and dreams about her being in danger. However, Constantia was engaged to someone else farther away, but Althorpe wanted to devote himself to her no matter what. Althorpe was a sleepwalker. He did things at night while he was asleep and walking around.

Althorpe had visions in his sleep. He thought Constantia was going to confront some kind of danger. Constantia and her father were traveling. Constantia was still not married even if she was engaged to someone else. Since Althorpe knew the area, he wanted to be their guide, so he could protect her.

The next morning, his vision came true. A messenger came and told Althorpe that Miss Davis had been shot on the road and was at Dr. Inglefied's house. He rushed over to the doctor's house to see Constantia. Mr. Davis thought Althorpe had shot his daughter, but Constantia knew Althorpe was in love with her.

When Constantia was better, Althorpe guided Mr. Davis and Constantia on their journey. They stopped at a farmhouse, but Constantia wasn't sure they should because it was late. They found out someone named Nick Handyside might have shot Constantia because he was not normal. He escaped at night and walked around. Later, someone shot Constantia. After she was taken to the doctor, she died.

Althorpe's conflict was within himself. He was so infatuated with Constantia and her safety that he had dreams and visions of her being in danger. According to the introduction in the beginning of the story, Althorpe was declared the murderer while walking in his sleep.

The conflicts in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "The Flesh and the Spirit" were resolved, but each story and a different result. In "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," evil won over good, but in "The Flesh and the Spirit," good won over evil. The conflict in "Somnambulism" was never resolved.


First, you will read the information I have provided in this lesson plan.

Then you will discuss the central issue in each of these stories.

After that, you can have the students read each of these stories and write an essay on a topic of your choice.


100 to 90 = A

89 to 80 = B

79 to 70 = C

69 to 60 = D

Below 60 = F

You can grade the students on their participation in class. You can also grade them on the paper they wrote.

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