In Hinton's book "The Outsiders" Pony Boy has grown up in a community where he is sterotyped to be a juvenille delinquent. He is a member of the Greasers who are in a constant state of conflict and gang related violence against the Socs. He meets Cherry, one of the Socs' girl friend. In talking with her he begins to realize that they are not so different even though they come from different classes and social situations.
Pony Boy is attacked by the Scos after he and Johnny fall asleep in the park. Johnny stabs Bob while trying to protect Pony Boy. Dally has them hide away at a church until the issue can be resolved. During the time of the hiding Johnny and Pony Boy contemplate on life and their realtionship with the Greasers and the Socs. It is the first time they are not in the middle of the others in their group. They can think independently about what is important in life.
The church catches on fire while some children are playing in it. Johnny runs inside to rescue the children. The church falls in on him as he saves the children. While Johnny is dying and Pony Boy goes with the Greasers to fight the Socs. The Greasers win and he returns to tell Johnny. Dally goes crazy with grief over Johnny's death which leads to him being shot by the police. He dies. Johnny leaves a letter explaining to Pony that it is not worth the violence.
Pony begins to grow up at this time. He goes to court with his brother Dallas and is place on probation. He has come to an understandingthat he can get away from the way of life and that the violence does not have to continue.