Conflicts in The Outsiders by S.e. Hinton

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Words: 610 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Words: 610|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Apr 8, 2022

Throughout the novel “The Outsiders” author S.E. Hinton gives many examples of how conflict doesn’t solve problems. Her novel is one of engagement, entertainment, but also gives really good messages. One of these is that conflict doesn’t solve problems. She shows that people do it so that they seem tough and to scare other people, but in the end all it does is cause a chain reaction from others and the conflict continues. In a split town where rival gangs fight for land, peace and fight against each other, it is very much a town of conflict.

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Hinton shows that whilst conflict can temporarily solve problems, in the long run, it is just a continuous effect. This was shown when Johnny and Pony were walking back from the drive in and they were jumped by the Soc’s. The Soc’s saw Johnny and Pony with the Soc girls and decided that jumping them and beating them up would solve the problems. The greasers know not to walk alone and they know that “it’s rough all over.” The fight started after Pony said to the Soc’s, “Soc’s are just rich kids with mustangs and corvairs.” This is an example of how Johnny and Pony fighting back against the Soc’s didn’t do any good, because they ended up on the run as fugitives, and ultimately resulted in Johnny’s death.

In the split town of Tusla, gang fights are a way of life. It’s a way of proving how tough you are, and which social class you fall into. Most fights are just little continuous spats between the two gangs, but every now and then, it gets out of control. When the greasers and the Soc’s decide that the only answer to resolve their issues is a rumble, everyone is excited and upbeat about it. But Pony realise that they’re not that different to the Soc’s, this is evident when he says, “It seemed funny to me that the sunset she saw from her patio and the one I saw from the back steps was the same one. Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset.” The rumble is won by the greasers in the end, but there are many injuries. Dally rushes back to the hospital to give Johnny the good news, but even Johnny realises that “there’s no point in all this fighting.” Johnny’s death soon follows this, and Dally realises that his whole life of fighting has been a waste of time, and he is soon killed.

Finally in this novel, there is a so called man v self conflict. This is the kind of conflict that involves a fear, choice or decision. Pony tries to hide away from this and is evident when he says “I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.” Pony is different and more insightful than any of the other boys in the novel. He wants the fighting to stop so that everyone gets along and that everyone is equal. He realises that they aren’t that different when he says, “They grew up on the outside of society. They weren't looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.” However he gets caught up in the incident at the park and has to go on the run. At the end of the day, Pony just wants to get by in life, and receive a good education, but because of the conflict that goes on, nothing is easy in life.

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The outsiders is a story about, friendship, courage and, unfortunately, conflict. Hinton clearly shows that whilst it may solve problems temporarily, conflict does not solve problems for the future.

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Conflicts In The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from
“Conflicts In The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton.” GradesFixer, 08 Apr. 2022,
Conflicts In The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jun. 2024].
Conflicts In The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 08 [cited 2024 Jun 20]. Available from:
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