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Steel Magnolias

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Steel Magnolias

Wendy Fisher

Conflict/Communication

Steel Magnolias is about this group of friends who are extremely close and are brought closer together due to some unfortunate circumstances and conflicts within the group . There is a group of women who are friends in a small town that get their hair done at the same time at Truvy’s Hair Salon and gossip and talk about their families , and people in the town while they get their hair done.  

 The film Steel Magnolias realistically revolves around conflict . There are several instances of conflict throughout the entirety of the film between almost every character.  The major conflicting parties that this paper is looking at are the main characters , Shelby and M’Lynn who are mother and daughter and their conflicts as well as the conflicts between Drum , M’Lynn’s husband, and Ouiser who are neighbors and also between Sammy and Annelle.  Shelby and M’Lynn are in a conflict over Shelby’s health, she is a diabetic that has always had her mother to take care of her.  She gets married and has found out she is pregnant.  Her mother is against the pregnancy because it will compromise Shelby’s health.  Shelby tries to compromise with her mother over her thoughts on the pregnancy.  Shelby bargains and makes compromises so that her mother will give her approval.  M’Lynn eventually gives her approval and Shelby has a healthy baby.  Drum and Ouiser are in constant conflict from the beginning of the movie.  The first part of movie shows Drum trying drive a flock of birds away from the trees the will overlook Shelby’s wedding.  He is shooting a gun and the noise is driving Ouiser’s dog insane.  Ouiser trys to outwit Drum by hiding the gun and letting the dog almost attack him.  She complains to M’Lynn so that she will possibly help the situation.  Once the gun is hidden, Drum concocts the idea of shooting an arrow full of fireworks into the tree, this drives the dog mad and sends him into a hysterical state.  Drum and Ouiser are always competing to try to one up the other to see who can cause the other more anguish.  During the duration of the movie, Truvy and her husband are in a conflict over their marriage and trying to make things work.  Her husband doesn’t work and Truvy works all the time.  She would like more attention and he wants to be left alone.  It is a lot of accommodating and compromising to make their marriage work.  She tries different ways, romantic dinner, looking for jobs for him, making sure the house is clean, to accommodate his wants.  She compromises by settling for what she gets, which is what he can give her.  By the end of the movie, things have changed for them and they are happy again.   All of these conflict management styles seem to work for each pair, they all end up coming together at the end even though they may not have ended their individual conflicts.

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