In this novel there is a conflict that goes on throughout the whole book, this conflict is based on two separate cultures. These "cultures" are split into two separate sides, one side being called the greasers and the other side being called the preppies. The greasers are basically made up of a bunch of people that have little or no money at all, and they work every day of their life since they turned a certain age. The preppies are basically made up of a bunch of people and go to fancy schools and have cars that their parents pay for and never worked a day in their life.
These two sides would fight each other basically every day. They would fight almost to the death with some of them. Some of the boys would carry around a pocketknife that was either given to them or they stole it from some shop in town.
On one night there were two greasers that were running away from home and they got jumped by the preppies, in this case the preppies were drunk so that didn't help matters and anyway they were on the wrong side of the border that separates their cultures. Well, the two greasers were fighting off these over grown preps and one of the greasers was named Johnny, well, Johnny was being drowned to death and he couldn't fight much more, so Johnny reached into his pocket, pulled out a knife and stabbed the guy that drowning him.
After that incident was over the two greasers got up and started to run to somebody else's place, when they got there he gave them some new cloths and gave them some money in order to get far away from the accident as possible. To all the other greasers, this little incident meant war between them, so they set up a date to fight each other.
When this date had arrived they all showed up in this big empty field that nobody ever used, when everybody was present they started to duel, and about ten to fifteen minutes went and then a group started to retrieve, it was the preppies and you could hear the greasers yelling and screaming that they had won the duel. That was the last of the conflict that they had ever seen of it. It wasn't so much a peaceful ending, it was just you stay on your side and we'll stay on our side kind of peacefulness.