What are three conflicts of the main character Ponyboy Curtis in the book The Outsiders? Provide one direct quote for each conflict.

Three conflicts of the main character Ponyboy Curtis in The Outsiders could be his general separation from the greasers, his contentious relationship with Darry, and his presence at the scene of Bob’s death.

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Most notably, Ponyboy finds himself in conflict with his society . The class conflicts drive the other plot conflicts. Pony is a greaser, characterized by a lower socioeconomic status and a generally tougher background. The group is known for stealing things and holding up gas stations once in a while;...

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however, Pony stays out of this kind of trouble, because "Darry would kill [him] if [he] got into trouble with the police." They are often harassed by the Socs, who have substantial wealth and drive nice cars. The transgressions of the Socs are generally overlooked by authorities. Pony notes,

The Socs get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next.

The Socs typically come out on top, and they use this advantage to jump the greasers and initiate conflict with them. Thus, Pony and Johnny directly confront Bob; after Johnny kills him, it establishes the context for the rest of the plot.

Ponyboy also finds himself in conflict with another person—specifically, his oldest brother, Darry. Darry had a bright future of his own; he passed up an opportunity to go to college because he needed to take care of his younger brothers after their parents died. Because Pony is so young, he doesn't realize the sacrifice that Darry has made, nor does he understand that his oldest brother has been thrust into a parenting role with no experience.

Darry makes some mistakes, but Pony interprets it without allowing Darry much grace because of their situation. Pony and Darry often find themselves in conflict, but they reach a relative peace after Johnny's death and the trial's outcome. In chapter 6, Pony vocalizes a new perspective about Darry's own struggles:

That was [Darry's] silent fear then—of losing another person he loved. I remembered how close he and Dad had been, and I wondered how I could ever have thought him hard and unfeeling. I listened to his heart pounding through his T-shirt and I knew everything was going to be okay now. I had taken the long way around, but I was finally home. To stay.

Finally, Pony faces an inner conflict as he tries to reach a more mature understanding of the world around him. He feels rejected by society, alienated after his parents' deaths, and grief-stricken after losing his best friend. Pony navigates these inner conflicts with halting progress and eventually realizes that he has a role in building healthy relationships, both in his own family and with others in his society who come from backgrounds different than his own. Pony grows to understand that "things are rough all over," just as Cherry told him.

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One central conflict that appears throughout the novel The Outsiders is Ponyboy’s outsider status within the greasers. Ponyboy can be thought of as a loner. The opening scene shows him taking in a Paul Newman film by himself. His appreciation for cinema and reading singles him out. “[N]obody in our gang digs movies and books the way I do,” says Ponyboy.

Ponyboy’s separateness from the greasers leads to quarrels within the greasers and with their rivals, the Socs. In the first chapter, Ponyboy, by himself, gets into a physical conflict with the Socs.

A second conflict to focus on might be the one between Ponyboy and a specific greaser, Darry. Darry is Ponyboy’s eldest brother, and the two don’t get along. Ponyboy claims that Darry is “always rough” with him. He doesn’t “understand anything that is not plain hard fact.” Their different temperaments, as well as the pressure on Darry to act like Ponyboy’s dad, puts significant strain on their relationship.

For a third conflict, there’s several options. One could talk about the conflict that arises after Ponyboy sees Johnny kill Bob. It’s also possible to talk about how Ponyboy’s relationship with Cherry Valance induces conflict due to her connection with the Socs.

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Ponyboy is faced with a number of conflicts throughout the novel. The most obvious conflict is the one between him and his older brother Darry, who after their parents’ death, took over as the family’s breadwinner and guardian to Ponyboy and Soda. Darry always reprimands Ponyboy whenever he is on the wrong but Ponyboy thinks that Darry is too harsh on him and does not love him like he does Sodapop. Ponyboy writes, “…Me and Darry just didn’t dig each other. I never could please him. He would have hollered at me for carrying a blade if I had carried one. If I brought home B’s, he wanted A’s, and if I got A’s, he wanted to make sure they stayed A’s. ..He never hollered at Sodapop, not even when Sodapop dropped out of school or got tickets for speeding. He just hollered at me.”

Ponyboy is also faced with conflict after Johnny’s death. For a while, he refuses to acknowledge that Johnny is dead and is so disoriented that he believes he is the one that killed Bob. When Randy visits Ponyboy’s home, he upsets Ponyboy by mentioning that Johnny, Bob’s killer, would have been in trouble with the law were he alive. Ponyboy objects and says, “I had the knife. I killed Bob.” The turmoil he undergoes is his way of coping with the grief.

The third conflict Ponyboy faces is the society’s perception of the greasers. Everybody thinks that they are juvenile and that no good can come out of them. The greasers are judged harshly simply because of their social economic status and face prejudice from all directions. Nobody cares to understand the hardships they undergo on a daily basis. Ponyboy discovers that there is no difference between them and the Socs and he wants to tell the greasers side of the story and hopes that they would be understood better. In the last paragraph of the book, Ponyboy writes, “…And I decided I could tell people, beginning with my English teacher…”

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Pony has many problems dealing with his older brother Darry, who is forced to work two jobs to support his younger brothers after the death of their parents. Pony believes that Darry is too strict and that he doesn't really care about him.

Me and Darry just didn't dig each other. I never could please him... He never hollered at Sodapop, even when Soda dropped out of school or got tickets for speeding. He just hollered at me.

Like the other greasers, Pony has problems with the Socs. Although he eventually becomes friends with Randy and Cherry, the others are hated enemies.

"You know what a Soc is?... White trash with Mustangs and madras."

Following the deaths of Johnny and Dally, Ponyboy loses interest in school. His grades dropp and he is in danger of failing at least one class.

"What's the sweat about my schoolwork?" I finally shouted. "I'll have to get a job as soon as I get out of school anyway. Look at Soda. He's doing okay, and he dropped out. You can just lay off!"

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What are three conflicts for Sodapop in the book The Outsiders? Provide one direct quote for each conflict.

One of the major conflicts Soda faces in the novel concerns how to cope with Pony's absence following the death of Bob Sheldon. After Johnny stabbed Bob Sheldon in self-defense, he and Pony sought Dally's advice and skipped town. When Dally visits Pony and Johnny in Windrixville, he gives him a letter from Soda. Soda reveals his anxiety, fear, and anguish regarding his younger brother's serious situation in the letter to Pony by writing,
Well I guess you got into some trouble, huh? Darry and me nearly went nuts when you ran out like that. Darry is awful sorry he hit you. You know he didn't mean it. And then you and Johnny turned up missing and what with that dead kid in the park and Dally getting hauled into the station, well it scared us something awful.
At this point in the story, Soda is worried about Pony's well-being and scared that his younger brother is in trouble with the police.
Another significant conflict Soda faces in the novel concerns his relationship with Darry and Pony. Soda is forced to play the role of intermediary and struggles to help his brothers get along. Toward the end of chapter 1, Soda attempts to comfort Pony and assures him that Darry means well by saying,
Listen, kiddo, when Darry hollers at you ... he don't mean nothin'. He's just got more worries than somebody his age ought to. Don't take him serious ... you dig, Pony? Don't let him bug you. He's really proud of you 'cause you're so brainy. It's just because you're the baby—I mean, he loves you a lot. Savvy?
Soda also experiences a conflict involving his girlfriend Sandy. Soda is deeply in love with Sandy and plans on marrying her. However, Sandy's parents do not approve of him, and she becomes pregnant with another person's child. In addition to discovering that Sandy has been cheating on him and is pregnant with another person's child, Soda also learns that she is moving to Florida. In chapter 12, Darry explains Soda's conflict by telling Pony,
When Sandy went to Florida ... it wasn't Soda, Ponyboy. He told me he loved her, but I guess she didn't love him like he thought she did, because it wasn't him ... He wanted to marry her anyway, but she just left.
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What are three conflicts for Sodapop in the book The Outsiders? Provide one direct quote for each conflict.

Soda is an easygoing and happy-go-lucky type of guy, but he does find himself mediating the conflicts around him:

Darry and Ponyboy

As the middle brother between these two, Sodapop often finds that he is stuck smoothing things over when his brothers begin arguing. Soda is insightful in realizing that the three of them have to stick together following their parents's deaths and wants them to realize it, too. He tells his brothers, "We're all we've got left. We ought to be able to stick together against anything. If we don't have each other, we don't have anything" (Chapter 12).


Sandy is Soda's girl, but her parents don't really like him. That's a source of conflict in itself, but this is further complicated near the end of the novel. Darry tells Ponyboy that not only is Sandy pregnant, but the baby isn't Soda's:

He told me he loved her, but I guess she didn't love him the way he thought she did, because it wasn't him. (Chapter 12)

Showing true character, Soda offers to marry her anyway. Sandy refuses and moves away. Soda must be crushed, but he never unloads all this conflict on Pony since Pony has so much going on himself.

The Socs

Soda's largest source of conflict is dealing with the Soc gang. Not only do they seem to have everything materialistically, but they want to antagonize the Greasers like Sodapop as well. This conflict is not only difficult for him personally, but also difficult in protecting his younger brother: "Leave my kid brother alone, you hear! It ain't his fault he likes to go to the movies, and it ain't his fault the Socs like to jump us, and if he had been good at carryin' a blade it would have been a good excuse to cut him to ribbons" (Chapter 1).

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What are three conflicts for Sodapop in the book The Outsiders? Provide one direct quote for each conflict.

SODATHE INTERMEDIARY.  Sodapop always sticks up for Ponyboy during his fights with Darry, and this creates conflicts between Darry and Soda as a result. Pony is usually guilty of something when Darry attempts to discuss the situation or punish him, but Soda takes up for Pony regardless of the reason. When Soda tries to defend Pony when he comes home late on the night of Bob Sheldon's death, Darry switches his anger to Soda.

     "Darry...," Sodapop began, but Darry turned on him. "You keep your trap shut! I'm sick and tired of hearin' you stick up for him."

SANDY.  Soda is in love with Sandy, who he has been seeing for a while, and they often double-date with Steve and his girlfriend. But Sandy soon decides to move to Florida, and Soda discovers it is because she is pregnant. Soda wants to marry her, and he sends her many letters which are returned unopened. Soda finds out that the baby is not his--Sandy has been cheating on him. Darry explains it to Pony, who is unaware of Soda's predicament:

     "When Sandy went to Florida... it wasn't Soda, Ponyboy. He told me he loved her, but I guess she didn't love him like he thought she did, because it wasn't him...     "He cried every night that week you were gone," Darry said slowly. "Both you and Sandy in the same week."

SODA THE DROPOUT.  Soda is a high school dropout, and he works in the local DX gas station. Although Soda seems to be happy with his decision, it doesn't sit well with Pony, nor does it serve as a good example for his younger brother. When Cherry Valance asks why she never sees Soda at school, Pony

... winced inside. I've told you I can't stand it that Soda dropped out. "He's a dropout," I said roughly. "Dropout" made me think of some poor dumb-looking hoodlum wandering the streets breaking out street lights--it didn't fit my happy-go-lucky brother at all.

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