What is Johnny's conflict in The Outsiders?

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Johnny’s conflict is that he is afraid of being jumped by Socs because they beat him up badly.

Johnny has several conflicts throughout the book, but they all stem from his fear of the Socs.  It was his fear of the Socs that led to him killing Bob, which...

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Johnny’s conflict is that he is afraid of being jumped by Socs because they beat him up badly.

Johnny has several conflicts throughout the book, but they all stem from his fear of the Socs.  It was his fear of the Socs that led to him killing Bob, which caused him to be on the run.  If he had not been on the run, he would not have been injured badly in the fire at the church while trying to save the children.

Johnny is regularly beaten by his father and emotionally abused by his mother.  Despite this conflict, which makes his home life miserable, his biggest conflict is with the Socs.  He is a greaser, and the Socs will attack him when he is alone just because of that.  Even though he is used to being beaten by his father, the attack by the Socs leaves him traumatized.

Ponyboy explains how the experience affected Johnny.

I had never been jumped, but I had seen Johnny after four Socs got hold of him, and it wasn't pretty. Johnny was scared of his own shadow after that. Johnny was sixteen then. (Ch. 1)

When Johnny and Pony meet two Soc girls, Cherry and Marcia, it turns out to be a monumental event for Johnny.  He is polite to the girls, standing up for Cherry when Dally acts crudely toward her.  Cherry thinks Johnny is nice.  The problem is her boyfriend.  When they are walking, Johnny realizes that it was Cherry’s boyfriend Bob and his friends who jumped him before.

When Johnny sees the blue mustang again, he freezes in fear.  Pony is not sure why at first.

"Your boyfriends?" Johnny's voice was steady, but standing as close to him as I was, I could see he was trembling. I wondered why--- Johnny was a nervous wreck, but he never was that jumpy. (Ch. 3)

The Socs see them with their girls.  Cherry gets in their car, hoping to avoid a conflict.  It prevents a fight for then, but later on Johnny and Pony are in the park and the Socs come back.  Bob is drowning Pony in the park fountain and he doesn’t have a weapon.  Johnny, who does have a switchblade, intervenes.  He kills Bob and saves Pony’s life, but the event horrifies him and leaves him wracked with guilt.

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