What is the main conflict in Chapter 1 of The Outsiders?

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clyonslf's profile pic

clyonslf | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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There are really two conflicts introduced in chapter one that develop as the novel progresses. In addition to the greasers vs socs confict mentioned above, the Curtis brothers conflict is also coming to light. Ponyboy provides insight into the conflict he feels is going on between Soda, Darry and himself. He refrains from crying in front of Darry because he feels that Darry is cold and unfeeling; a conflict that plays a huge part as the plot develops. We know that Ponyboy and Soda get along well and that Soda "protects" Ponyboy from Darry's strictness. The family dyanmics presented are the cause of many of Ponyboy's bad decisions later in the novel.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The main conflict in Chapter 1 is between Pony and the Socs.  You can see this from the very start of the chapter.

Pony comes out of the movie theater and starts walking home.  Then the Socs jump him and start threatening to cut his hair off or to do even worse things to him.

So, to me, this is the major conflict in this first chapter.

If you are wondering what kind of a conflict this is, it is pretty clearly a man v. man conflict.  It is one in which two people or groups of people are in conflict.

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