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The Outsiders

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The Outsiders-S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders, an exciting tale by S.E. Hinton, is an excellent story about the hardships and triumphs experienced by the Greasers and the Socs, two rival gangs. The author wrote the story when she was just 16 years old, in the 1950s. The book was successful, and it was sold, and still being sold, in many copies as a young adults novel. There was a movie made about it, and today there are still many schools that use this book in junior high and high schools for English classes. The Greasers are a gang of social outcasts and misfits, and the Socs are a group of spoiled rich kids who get everything they want. This novel's theme is very specific; people, no matter what their social background, strive for the same goals and experience the same disappointments. This novel shows this theme throughout a detailed story line with some clever plot twists.

The Outsiders is about a gang. They live in a city in Oklahoma. Ponyboy Curtis, a 14 year old greaser, tells the story. Other characters include Sodapop and Darry, Ponyboy's brothers, Johnny, Dallas, and Two- Bit, that were also gang members and Ponyboy's friends. This story deals with two forms of social classes: the socs, the rich kids, and the greasers, the poor kids. The socs go around looking for trouble and greasers to beat up, and then the greasers are blamed for it, because they are poor and cannot affect the authorities. The first conflict that you see in the novel is when one day Ponyboy and Johnny, (Ponyboy's best friend), get jumped by a group of Socs. The Socs start to drown Ponyboy in a fountain. Johnny, realizing they might kill Ponyboy, kills Bob, one of the Socs with his switchblade. Johnny and Ponyboy run to a fellow Greaser, Dally, who is always in trouble with the law. Dally helps them by giving them some money, a gun, and a place to hide. They hide in a church outside of town for a week until Dally says it's okay to come out. They go out to eat and when they get back to the church they find it burning. There is a good example of one of the major themes in this story, when they see that there are kids inside and the fire could have been started by their cigarettes, they run inside to save the kids. Johnny and Dally are hurt in the fire and taken to the hospital. They are hailed as heroes in the local paper. Dally breaks out of the hospital to fight in a rumble against the Socs. While the Greasers beat the Socs, Johnny dies in the hospital. When Dally finds out he goes out and robs a grocery store. When the cops pull up he pulls out an empty gun so the cops shoot him.

The theme of this novel is that all people are set back at times and they all want the same basic things. This theme is expressed in the novel several times. Disappointments are shown when Bob dies and the Socs grieve for him, when Ponyboy's parents die and they are upset, and when Johnny dies and



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