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. Ponyboy is also faced with conflict after Johnny’s death. The third conflict Ponyboy faces is the society’s perception of the greasers. 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!”