The different types of conflicts help shape the book because the conflicts help deepen the story and the characters in the book. In ‘The Outsiders’ the main conflict is person vs society. Since Ponyboy is a greaser he is looked down upon in society because he is poor. One example of a plot is person vs person, of Darry and Ponyboy. A lot of times Darry and Ponyboy don’t get along and get into a lot of arguments, by yelling and shouting. This would be an example of person vs person because one character is fighting another character. In this situation Ponyboy and Darry are verbally fighting each other.
Furthermore, when Ponyboy arrived late coming home, Darry was really mad and slapped Ponyboy in the face. On page 50 it also proves my saying” Darry wheeled around and slapped me so hard that it knocked me against the door. When Ponyboy was at the movies Dally was annoying and bothering cherry by saying rude comments. In the text on page 24 it states “Dally started to put his arm around her, but Johnny reached over and stopped him. Saying “Leave her alone Dally. ” In this situation Dally and Johnny are an example of person vs person. Dally wants to tease Cherry, but Johnny is stopping him.
This is creating an obstacle for Dally, thus making it a conflict. Another key example of person vs person is on page 55 and 56. When Ponyboy was being drowned by a gang of Socs, Johnny wanted to help Ponyboy. Johnny wanted to do everything in his power to protect his friend from any harm. When Johnny pulled out his switchblade he was trying to stop the gang of Socs from drowning Ponyboy. Since Bob was the person in charge and putting Ponyboy’s head into the fountain he was Johnny’s target and was the obstacle that he needed to overcome. Bob wanted to harm Ponyboy and Johnny wanted to protect Ponyboy so the two clashed.
This resulted in Bob’s death. This is why this is an example of person vs person. Another example of a plot is Person vs Society. In the book the person would be Darry and society. Darry is hard- working and is okay at school, unfortunately because they don’t have enough money Darry doesn’t go to college. Darry is forced into getting a job to help support his two younger brothers. This is an example of person vs society because of society’s rules it has made Darry stay back and get a poor earning job. “ But we just didn’t have the money for him to go to college, even with the athletic scholarship he won.
And now he didn’t have time between jobs to even think about college“. Another prime example of person vs society is the rivalry between the Socs and the greasers. The greasers are recognized because they are hoodlums and are much poorer. As a result of society and how they placed, it has been affecting Ponyboy. This is clear when Ponyboy can’t talk to cherry during school because it may ruin her reputation. On page 45 cherry says “I mean…. If I see you in the hall at school or someplace and don’t say hi, well it’s not personal or anything. Moreover, he can’t talk to any Socs because he will be looked down upon and treated with less respect.
Thirdly, a plot in The Outsiders is Person vs Nature. When Johnny and Ponyboy saw the church burning down they wanted to help. When they were trying to rescue the kids from the fire Johnny’s back went on fire and he went unconscious. This is a result of person vs nature. The person would be Johnny and Nature would be fire. In this scene Johnny needs to overcome nature or the fire to rescue the kids. On page 93 “I leaped out the window and heard timber crashing and the flames roaring right behind me. I staggered, almost falling, coughing and sobbing for breath”. This proves that both Johnny and Ponyboy need to over the nature of fire.
Another example of person vs nature is that it’s normal for people to change. When Ponyboy reads the poem by John Frost, he realizes that some people change and not for the better of reasons. When Johnny and Ponyboy helped save the children from the church it was an example of person vs Fate/Destiny. Everyone knows that most greasers get killed or arrested. Since Ponyboy and Johnny fall in that category people know how his story is going to end. For Ponyboy and Johnny their fate is conflicting with what they want to do. Both Johnny and Ponyboy want to just draw pictures and read books.
Instead, they are faced with fights. “But no one was around, and I knew Johnny and I were going to have to fight it out alone“. Ponyboy wants to change, he wants to become successful and leave the streets. He wants to have a life where he doesn’t want to keep on thinking about being jumped all the time and getting shot instead he wants to live a happy life away from thinking about greasers and Socs all the time. Ponyboy wants to change and his fate is conflicting with him because he’s a greaser. When they saved the children from the church they changed their fate from being criminals into heroes.
An example of person vs self in The Outsiders would an example of person vs self is Randy and how he reacts to Bob’s death. After Bob’s death Randy starts to have a different perspective on things. Once Randy realizes what the fight between the Socs and the greasers really mean he is having a battle with his mind. He starts to reflect on what his head thinks and what his heart thinks. Randy needs to mentally understand the problem and think for himself. This causes an obstacle for Randy because now he’s separated from the Socs because of how he feels. He is fighting what he thinks is right opposed to what he believes is right.