Odd how often in story telling throughout the years, that conflict of some kind rears its head as the fuel for the narrative.
So many stories involve trying to win some form of fight, be it warring factions on a grand scale, trying to stop someone doing something or the protagonist resolving some level of issue as the situation conspires against them.
The war film is blatantly clear concerning conflict but so often, there is a conflict going on alongside the main story. The crime drama shows the law fighting against the actions of a crazed lunatic or a gang of thieves, battling the clock as the action continues. But the love story also has the chance for conflict. A rival for the affections of the love interest, a familial or social block to overcome, a misunderstanding which threatens to part the characters forever.
All of these represent the chance for increased value to be placed on the goal, be it an object, a political outcome or the love of their lives. They represent the ultimate goal and make the said conflict worthwhile.
So the conflict is everywhere because the conflict is everywhere.
The human race seems to thrive on adversity of some kind. Our minds seem to just gravitate towards puzzles and problems, urged to unravel said problems and solve the questions that fall ahead of us. Boredom can be a spirit crushing horror so we just love to have something to work on, something to overcome, any kind of something to beat.
The conflict can give us the chance to test ourselves. The chance to face a problem, a demon, an inner horror is something we may never have in the real world but in stories, that conflict and the chance to overcome it allow us so much. The fight we can never have let alone win is laid out before us and it can be won. We have the chance to avenge losses, injustices and pain. The bully gets what’s coming and the hero feels amazing as everything falls into place.
Think of all the comic book films. Everyone ends up happy after the struggles of the film regardless of the losses which may have been suffered.
So I think it’s fair to say that we need the fight in our stories. We need to have the chance to overcome and that win is vital.