What is a specific example of a man vs. self conflict in "The Outsiders?" 

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Randy Adderson is another character who experiences a man vs. self conflict throughout the novel The Outsiders. Randy Adderson is a wealthy member of the Socs, and he was close friends with Bob Sheldon. Randy used to participate in rumbles, party, and intimidate Greaser members, until Johnny killed Bob at the park. Following Bob's death, Randy visits Ponyboy to express his feelings concerning the loss of his friend and the impending rumble between the two gangs. Essentially, Randy explains that he has conflicting feelings about his gang and participating in the upcoming rumble. Despite being loyal to his friends, Randy understands that fighting does nothing to solve their problems and will only make the situation worse. Randy tells Ponyboy that he is gathering all of his money and leaving town because he feels like he has no other choice. Randy's decision to either remain loyal to his gang by participating in the rumble or to skip town in order to find peace reveals his internal conflict.

sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ponyboy is the best character to use for a specific man vs. self internal conflict.  Ponyboy is much more introspective than the other Greasers.  For that reason, he is the one Greaser that begins to consider the Socs as people with problems too.  Granted, Ponyboy gets a little help from Cherry in this realization when she tells him "Things are rough all over."  

Ponyboy's internal conflict is whether or not to carry on with the Greaser life.  Deep down Ponyboy wants out of the Greaser life.  He wants to continue his education and work toward improving himself and others.  He sees the Greasers as brothers, but ultimately, Ponyboy knows that being a Greaser means continued violence and poverty.  Ponyboy struggles with staying true to his brothers and doing what he knows he has to do to improve his own lot in life.