In the book "The Outsiders" by Hinton the story is about three brothers who live in a lower income community. Pony Boy is the primary character and it is through him that the reader observes many of the conflicts common to adolescent males.
In looking at the concept of man versus nature the scene when Johnny reacts after seeing Pony Boy being dunked under water is a good example. It is man's nature to be protective of himself and those he cares about. Nature took over and caused the innate reaction of Johnny stabbing the Soc Bob, who was the leader of the boys dunking Pony Boy. He did not do it with intent but with a natural impulse.
"Johnny had a blank, tough look on his face-you'd have had to know him to see the panic in his eyes."(55)
In consideration of person versus society I look at the environment where the boys who were Greasers lived. It was an environment of low income and limited opportunities. The boys were considered to be outside of society. They were the kids on the other side of the railroad tracks who were expected to be juvenile delinquents. This expectation is evident when the newspaper runs a story following Johnnie and Pony Boy's rescue of the children from the church fire.
"JUVENNILE DELINQUENTS TURN HERO."(107)
The internal person versus the external person is the conflict that Pony Boy feels when he begins to realize that he has choices to make. He can continue on to behave in violent ways or he can change. Johnny leaves him a letter telling him that it is not to late. Pony Boy has been given an assignment by the English teacher and he debates whether to complete it or not. Once he reads the letter his internal self that is an A student and very different from the Greasers, his external self, takes over and he picks up the pen to share his story and the story of the boys in his community.
"You still have a lot of time to make yourself be what you want." (179)
"I sat down and picked up my pen and thought for a minute. Remembering."(179)