Njal’s saga is an incident that puts the damages that conflicts cause among individuals in the society. It is inevitable that conflicts will occur during the lifetime period regardless of the efforts that one may put to prevent or avoid their occurrence. The question that we have a duty to pay attention to is not how to avoid them but rather how to respond to them when they occur. As a matter of fact, conflicts are manageable when the parties involved recognize it as problem that needs urgent attention and have taken concerted efforts towards arriving at a permanent solution.
Conflicts are caused by a number of incidences that range from disagreements, misunderstandings to revenge, war and civil uprisings. These may be both genuine and selfish or personal which validates whether the propagators have a just cause to react in a manner that draws the attention of the accused and to register their annoyance. The maturity of the offended comes into play in determining how far the conflict will go since the way he handles the whole scenario gives makes the conflict severe or mild (Wilmot & Hocker, 2007).
However, it is considered a severe case when a disagreement goes to the extent of bloodshed as it underscores a series of unresolved disputes and misunderstanding between the parties involved and efforts to bring solutions to them have born no fruit. This is where resolution efforts should be invested in mediation, arbitration and the end of conflict as a whole. The aim of this presentation is to present the various efforts and the patterns of resolution in relation to the case scenario of Njal’s saga.
The story is an account of the failed efforts in resolving conflicts that culminated in a series of bloodshed that was overly unintended. It is explained that the main character dwelled in the Iceland and these took place during the period 960 to 1020. This account is given from the archives in Chapter three in King Harold Grayfell’s accounts (961-976), the Christian conversion of Iceland in chapter 94-101 and the Battle of Clontarf in Dublin. The highlight of occurrence of the events was marked by the raid and the burning of Njal’s farmhouse and a number of self generating bloodshed incidences that prompted the intervention of government of Iceland. These evidences have been preserved to justify the truth about this saga (Bannon &.Collier, 2003).
The engagement and subsequent divorce of Hrútur Herjólfsson and Unnur gave them a bad legacy. He also gained respect at judicial settings in Norway but later on ruined his marriage as he involved himself in a scandalous affair with queen mother Gunnhildr. He denies having a woman in Iceland and Unnur curses their marriage with verbal exchanges and eventually divorces him. The man withholds the dowry after separating and generates a fight with the father-in-law which contradicts the administration of justice. The father in law declines in respect to Hrutur’s reputation which makes Hrutur to retain the dowry (Bercovitch & Richard, 2009).
These scandals follow to the niece whose marriages end in bloody murder of the husband by the foster father. Conflicts with the husband resulted in the revenge attacks that included murder of members of Njal’s family. The father then makes settlements in terms of financial support and one appears at a future murder that further caused conflicts.
The conflicts spread even to these whom they marry and they carry out revenge missions who cause further harm to both the innocent and the guilty. The violence proceeds to the point of beheading their offenders. This is a case of one conflict generating another and a generational transfer of unresolved disputes that the family spilled to everyone they came into contact with.
The scandal takes a completely different turn when Njal’s friend Gunnar follows the claim for the dowry that was retained and Njal tells him to tactfully follow the legal procedures in Hrutur’s house. When the matter reaches the court, they humiliatingly lose by the same method they have always used to win.
Ginnar turns the beef with a one of the slaves to raid the home with the assistance of a friend, then seeks to reconcile but the offer is not accepted. The case is won but a slap from Gunner on the slave who narrates the ordeal results into Gunner causing injuries to the slave insulting him and murdering him with the friends.
Cooperation grows with Njal who earns Gunnar respect who declares that he would be known as a killer. Gunner takes an invitation to horse fighting from a different man who tricks him and Njal offers to help against the wishes of the opponent. On one journey, opponent together with his allies attacks Gunnar and his two brothers killing one of them.
Following this is the Unnur’s son who plots to murder Gunnar and finds out that Njal would kill Gunnar if he murdered twice in one household. He uses the others who are discontented with this but Gunnar wins the fight and kills a second member of the family which leads him to contemplate going to exile in Iceland for 3years.
These plans are thwarted by the beauty of Iceland making him to cancel his plans. Unnur’s son seeks to revenge and makes him to defend himself to the point of breaking his bow string and Hallgerður could make him to restore his string declines to do so to keep family ties and aid reconciliation.
On another incident, Njal’s sons get involved when one of the last two marries from the Kari family and takes advantage to bring back past harsh treatment by the state officials of Norway by making their son responsible and ends in insults. This fellow was eventually beheaded on a plotted attack on the ice river. The war continues and becomes a culture in the Iceland and it is aired on movies and it is a heritage of the Icelanders.
However, there have been manifestations of the conflict resolution methods that was employed by various people like dialogue, arbitration, mediation and negotiation that have been undermined by revenge missions, counter attacks, deliberate conflicts especially aided by Njal on non essential issues of the past times (Bercovitch & Richard, 2009).