Students began their year in the English department by writing a literary essay on conflict analysis and how it builds tension and suspense within a text. The students were assigned a reading list over the summer and upon return chose one of the stories to write an essay on. Titles ranged from “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night” by Mark Haddon and “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. KAP student Rashawn spent his summer reading “All American Boys” by Brendan Kiely and constructed his essay on the internal and external character conflicts.
In the story “All American Boys” by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, the main conflict of police brutality effects the two main characters both internally and externally. The first character Rashad, a African American teen is wrongfully accused of shoplifting. This leads to a police officer violently beating him for this accusation. Rashad is now left with both internal and external conflicts. Internal because he will remember this experience the rest of his life and it may haunt him and external because of the physical pain he is in. The second main character in this story is a white teen named Quinn, who witnesses Rashad’s beatings. Quinn now faces a great internal conflict and develops a fear of police officers and questions weather police officers are doing the right thing at all. Both characters are present in the real world today. That is a big reason why this story is so relatable and enjoyable.
The climax of this story occurred during Rashad’s incident at the store. The whole story is centered around what happened at the store. The falling action is mostly the negative conflicts these characters go through. The falling action makes up most of the story because the climax happens so early in the story.
This book is a great way to bring forward what happens to victims and people who witness these awful acts of violence. Stories like these need to be shared with everyone so they can know what happens on both sides of this ongoing issue.