Internal Conflict in “Time and Again” By George Bowering

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Throughout the story “Time and Again” by George Bowering, there is a battle between George and the townspeople. This quarrel takes place in his mind, distinctly identifying the conflict is within George. Fancied squabbles of this nature commonly result in false perceptions and false pride. These are two fundamental human experiences being portrayed in this narrative. False perception becomes apparent with George’s frequent references to how he thinks others see him. In fact, he has no idea how the people of Lawrence see him, simply because he has no input from the townspeople.

Another example is the switch in tone taken when he leaves the cafe. He starts out thinking the same cynical thoughts he has up to this point, but the tone briefly turns when he is thinking, “except his folks suddenly more friendly and man-to-manly”. He naively thinks it is because “he is a man of the outer world” (p. 158). In fact, it is more likely that his folks are just treating him like an adult, or maybe they are just happy to see him. George’s false pride is stealthily abundant to me during the story.

Curiously rich in overtones of George’s assumed narrative success, we are provided with no absolute proof. One indirect instance, he states openly to his mother that he is “writing immense novels and poems” (p. 160). Although he submitted bits and pieces for the local weekly paper while in high school and college, these student accomplishments do not amount to success in the world of professional writing. However, it is clear that his passion is to be a good writer, “telling how he would steal money to keep from toiling while he wrote a great long novel” (p. 59). The fact remains, nothing substantial has been written, yet. The cynicism felt in the story suggests that George is relying on yesterday’s paltry accomplishments rather than trying to achieve prominence today. How can he be proud with this agenda? Well, he cannot, and this is where the false perceptions and false pride originate. The only success that can be attained in this is in proving an old adage. We judge ourselves by our intentions, while others judge us by our actions.

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Internal Conflict in “Time and Again” By George Bowering. (2016, Dec 11). Retrieved from

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