|In creative writing, we use defined characters. Two of them are the protagonist and the antagonist.
The protagonist is the main actor with a goal.
The antagonist is either a person or a force against which our protagonist struggles in trying to achieve his goal.
Categories of Stories
Protagonist versus Antagonist (examples)
man versus man:
The Stand (Book and movie) - It also has man v. nature (illness) and supernatural (Randall Flagg).
man versus himself:
Hamlet (Book) - Yes, there are other antagonists, but in my opinion, it's more about himself.
Leaving Las Vegas (Movie)
man versus nature:
The Edge (Movie)
The Poseidon Adventure (Book and Movies)
man versus society:
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Book and movie)
Jane Hawk series by Dean Koontz (Books) - This is more of man versus corrupt "new" society and machine. (nano technology)
man versus alien, god, supernatural being, satan, etc.:
Holy Bible (Book) - I believe there is more stories of man vs. god than perhaps any other.
man versus machine:
I, Robot (Book and movie)
Robocop (Movie) - I'm mentioning this because the roles are switched with the cyborg police officer fighting bad guys.
Your assignment is this: take the above list of man versus something and give an example of a movie or book that would fit those story categories. There will be movies/books that could fit two or more, but try to have one per example.
The idea is to see how these story categories surround us in popular entertainment. It's also a fun exercise.