The Outsiders Questions and Answers
by S. E. Hinton

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Make a list of the various conflicts in the novel under the following headings. Be able to give at least one example for each in The Outsiders. Character Vs. Character Character Vs. Self Character Vs. Group

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Character vs. character:

  • Johnny vs. Bob- This is one of the more obvious ones, as Bob attacks Johnny not once, but twice in the novel. Because Johnny is the most gentle of the greasers, and arguably the most abused, he becomes a magnet for the violence and cruelty of Bob and the Socs.
  • Ponyboy vs. Darry- Ponyboy struggles with Darry's control in his life. He feels that he should have a job like the rest of the gang, or be able to stay out all night. Yet Darry has a strong parental instinct as the oldest in the family, and sees the potential within Ponyboy to be more than just "a greaser."

Character vs. Self

Nearly every character in the book has some kind of internal conflict. Using Johnny as an example: He is the gentlest of the greasers, yet he is forced to resort to violence to save Ponyboy's life. He does not want to hurt another human being, having suffered so much himself, yet he must make the choice to become aggressive or watch his friend die.

Character v. Group

Any greaser vs. the Socs works in this catagory. Using Darry as an example: During the rumble, he is faced with fighting a man with whom he played football in high school. Due to their respective life experiences and socio-economic status, they are driven apart, and must come to terms with a quite physical conflict.

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