A Lesson Learned- An Outsiders Essay

A Lesson Learned
The Outsiders Essay

Imagine living on the streets, a brother for a parent and being torn between two deadly rival gangs. In the novel The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, three teenage boys wander around their hometown, unaware of the dangers that lurk behind each alley. Due to their chaotic experiences in the city, Ponyboy, Johnny, and Randy were able to learn important life lessons. Ponyboy learned that even though the city was separated into Greasers and Socials; they were all similar people.

Johnny realized that life was too short and did not have enough “good” in it. Lastly, Randy learned that precious time was being wasted for fighting. Overall, living on the streets can teach teens many valuable lessons.

Ponyboy Curtis was one of the first characters to learn from his past. First, he learned that they were all similar people, no matter what gang they were in. At the beginning of the story, Ponyboy assumed the Socs were rich socialites that owned expensive cars and jumped Greasers, because being part of the Greasers gang taught him that.

He later on realized that the Socs were actually similar to the Greasers; their social statuses were just separating them. Ponyboy narrates, “Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren’t so different.

We saw the same sunset” (Hinton 41). He said this in realization that the two gangs were truly alike. Ponyboy also gained knowledge that the Socs often had similar problems as the Greasers. For example, some Socs are tired of fighting and wonder whether the rivalry was worth it; Ponyboy and Johnny share the same feelings. Ponyboy furthermore recognized that the Socs encounter feelings of pain, fear, and sorrow through past experiences, just as the Greasers do. In conclusion, Ponyboy realized that despite one gang was richer; the Socs were just as equal as the Greasers.

In addition to Ponyboy, Johnny also learned a multitude of lessons throughout his sixteen years of life. Firstly, Johnny learned that life is too short to be full of regrets. Prior to his journey to Windrixville, he remained as the frightened pet of the Greasers due to several beatings from his abusive parents and a group of Socs. As he lay in the hospital bed after rescuing kids from a burning building, Johnny told Ponyboy that before he had been considering committing suicide. After looking back at his life, Johnny finally realized that he was too young to die;

he had not lived his life the way he wanted to. Afterwards, Johnny discovered that staying good and innocent is the best way to live your life. Before he died, he said to Ponyboy, “Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…” (Hinton 148). Johnny wanted Ponyboy to stay innocent, or stay gold, by not turning tough and into a convict like the rest of the members in the gang. In the end, Ponyboy read a letter written from Johnny, saying he was glad he rescued the kids because they had more to live for than he did. On the whole, Johnny learned that you could live a longer life by remaining gold.

Lastly, Randy Anderson was one of the only Socs that learned a life lesson. After the death of his best friend, Bob Sheldon, Randy’s whole personality changed. Before Bob died, Randy was happily drunk from everything he got, since he was a Soc. Like Bob, he searched for a fight whenever and wherever he could. When problems went from bad to worse, Randy finally realized that fighting was not the answer. The rivalry between Socs and Greasers was not going to cause anything but hate. He says to Ponyboy, “So it doesn’t do any good, the fighting and killing. It doesn’t prove anything” (Hinton 117). Randy was tired of all the fighting because there was no point.

He realized that even if the Greasers beat the Socs in the rumble, it would not do anything. Greasers would still be where the city placed them, at the bottom, and the Socs would still be at top. Later on, Randy decides to not take part in the rumble and just flee the city. However, he gained respect from a Greaser, Ponyboy, from doing so. As a result, Randy ran away, knowing that fighting would not solve anything.

In the end, the three boys learned necessary lessons that will help them make better choices in the coming future. Ponyboy learned that a separation of groups does not change the fact that everyone is human and have their own flaws. Thanks to his friends, Johnny was able to make the last year of his life worth it and full of “gold”. Finally, Randy became the first Soc to realize that fighting each other would not solve any problems; it would only make the situations worse. To conclude, people can learn much from living in the streets, but how they choose to use that information is their choice.

“The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton

In the novel, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, Dallas Winston is a complex persona that wishes to protect the other greasers from experiencing prejudice and adversity. (T)Dallas Winston is known as one of the most dangerous and spiteful greasers out there, he will not hesitate to go to jail for the sake of fellow gang members. Greasers are rebellious youths in the 1960s who style their hair with profuse amounts of hair grease. Compared to socs, greasers are often in tightly knit-gangs.

Though greasers are selfless and benevolent, the media and authorities state otherwise. Socs, also known as the west-side rich kids, are commended for their ”contributions to society.” Socs are seen as heroes while greasers are condemned and seen as disgraces among society. This a prime example of prejudice created by those who are seen as ”socially acceptable.” Dallas or Dally is a victim of this and knows well the tragic reality of it all. Due to Dally’s experiences at a young age, he wishes for the other greasers to lead a different path.

Therefore, Dally takes responsibility for crimes his friends committed because he is fearful of the effects jail might cause to their personalities. (E)Hinton writes, ‘ ”Johnny. Johnny, I ain’t mad at you. I just don’t want you to get hurt. You don’t know what a few months in jail can do to you. Oh, blast it, Johnny, you get hardened in jail. I don’t want that to happen to you. Like it happened to me??¦” (90) (X)This quote is significant because Dally, a person depicted as self-centered is openly saying that he cares for someone other than himself. Pony and Johnny are the youngest and most innocent among the gang. These two are seen as individuals Dally must protect, especially Johnny. During an encounter with Socs, Ponyboy is assaulted and beaten to the point Johnny had to intervene with force. In the process of saving Ponyboy, Johnny kills a Soc named Bob. Bob is a big-name within the community and his murder would make many headlines. Knowing this, Dally helps them by providing them with basic necessities and a place to stay. He even vouched to the police that the two were headed for Texas. (E)When Dally visits the two he states, ”Shoot, kid, the boys at the station know me by now. I get hauled in for everything that happens in our turf. While I was there I kinda let it slip that y’all were headin’ for Texas. So that’s where they’re lookin’” (Hinton 82).

Lying could get Dally into trouble by being an accessory. Furthermore, this quote shows how even though Dally is at risk of being accountable for the assistance of someone who committed a felony, he is willing to accept the punishments. Dally’s record is already tarnished with crimes such as assault and robbery. His record prevents him from pursuing possible dreams and living a fulfilling life. In reality, he has nothing to lose or gain, except the satisfaction of knowing he is helping out someone he cherishes. (Y)In other words, he would prefer to sacrifice his own wellbeing in order to give his friends opportunities he was not able to have. This sacrifice is one of his many acts of heroism throughout the novel. (T)Moreover, Dally’s emotional traumas have caused him to become distant and cold.

As seen throughout the novel, Dally has gained a reputation as a liar, drunkard, cheater, and thief. His malicious attitude and tough exterior have made him into a less than an ideal person. He is the embodiment of a stereotypical criminal, a lawbreaker. The police view him as a danger to society and constantly keep tabs on him. But underneath it all, he wishes for someone to give him a reason to continue living. Johnny gave him a reason to live even if he disliked everyone else. In fact, he doesn’t advise helping others because it won’t alter the public’s perspective on greasers. In spite of this fact, Dally aids Ponyboy and Johnny in saving the children in the burning church. He wouldn’t have acted this way if it weren’t for Johnny. Dally viewed Johnny as a little brother. His instinct was to save the boys from their own demise. In the end, each of them was left injured for the sake of those children.

This displays incredible altruism. In return, the boys were left with severe burns, broken bones and heroic titles. (E)After learning about Johnny’s condition he says to Ponyboy, ‘That’s what you get for helpin’ people. Editorials in the paper and a lot of trouble. . . . You’d better wise up, Pony . . . you get tough like me and you don’t get hurt. You look out for yourself and nothin’ can touch you’ (Hinton 147). As seen by this quote, Dally’s world hating attitude is actually a defense mechanism to protect his frail heart and tolerate his difficult life. (X)He became hardened to the point that he was indifferent to his circumstances.

In other words, Dally’s intent is to harden Ponyboy before he falls into a state of despair. Ponyboy is still a virgin to the feeling of utter loss and hopelessness. In comparison, Dally is no stranger to this feeling therefore he urges Pony to protect himself before he gets hurt. The haunting anticipation of loss causes Dally to act this way. (Y)Though Ponyboy is not aware of this, Dally’s words will bring about an epiphany that proves anyone can be a hero. The greasers will rise above adversity and financial status, proving that despite how they lead their life previously, everyone can become a hero.

Stereotypes – the Outsiders

Ever felt targeted? Witness someone be judged by how they spoke? Felt as if no one belongs? Is it because they dress, act, or learn differently or a certain way? Most young adults go through these types of struggles. Stereotypes are preconceived labels subjected on the public. When teenagers do things out of the ordinary, dress differently, or hang out with specific people they tend to be measured up into or against these stereotypes. A common occurrence in high school, these stereotypes that try to define teenagers, can affect them either positively or work against us in negatively.

When people are labeled it is usually through a stereotype, they are judged on their appearance, attitude, personality, and friends along with many other superficial components. “Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.” (Manson) Characterization is a tool used to depict someone through the traits of their personality and association with those around them.

Of course, with the clash of characters and imposed stereotypes, conflict between people is almost certain. Rivalry, a byproduct of conflict and the law of survival is always at play within society. S.E. Hinton uses these literary techniques of stereotypes, characterization and conflict throughout the novel of The Outsiders to depict they key theme of rivalry. In The Outsiders, every character has been classified as “a greaser”, being stereotyped like that is pretty cruel. When Ponyboy said, “We both need a haircut and some decent clothes. They’ll know we’re hoods the minute they see us!” (Hinton, 64) He admitted to succumbing to his stereotype.

Proving to the readers that the Greasers were based on their appearance. When people see them, they think that because they wear raggedy-down old clothing they are poor, not important, juvenile delinquents. Additionally, apart from being judged on their appearance, they are grouped together, all being seen as punks with no room for individuality. Ponyboy, Dally, and Johnny met two young Soc girls at the drive-in movie theater. Dally’s rude and unpleasant attitude gave the two girls a bad first impression of the Greasers as a whole. Later on, Ponyboy talked to Cherry, changing her perspective completely through the deep conversation he has with her, leaving her completely astounded at his intellectuality and at the discovery that the Greaser stereotype she had fitted him into was completely erroneous.

In the beginning, Ponyboy drops the story to spend a few pages feeding the readers with a brief summary on the characters mentioned throughout the book such as Sodapop, Darry, Steve, Two-Bit, Dally, and Johnny. Ponyboy tells the readers that the reason his group is called The Greasers is because of their long greasy looking hair. “My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I’m a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair.” (Hinton, 1) He informs the readers that the reason him and Sodapop have interesting names, is because it expresses the love their parents felt for them and it describes their personalities. He mentioned that Steve is smart and very cocky. Two-Bit never takes things seriously, always joking around, only goes to school for the kick of it not to go to learn or anything. Dally’s real name is Dallas, he mentions that he’s tougher, colder, and more mean than any other Greaser. Readers are left with the thought that Johnny is frightened, unloved, victimized, abused, and helpless.

When a car full of Socs pulls up, Pony and Johnny try to run away. Instead, those Socs pin them down. As Pony is about to drown in an ice-cold park fountain, Johnny stabs a Soc. The Soc who was handling pulls him out. Johnny tells Pony that he stabbed a Soc as Pony’s trying to recover his breath. Pony looks over to see a Soc on the ground and puddle of blood only to throw up. To avoid any more problems they leave and go to an old wooden church far from home. Spending five days there alone, they cut their hair to look different from the newspapers. Just as they were about to go home, the church catches fire. ”’I’ll get them don’t worry!’ I started at a dead run for the church, and the man caught my arm.

‘I’ll get them. You kids stay out!’” (Hinton, 91) Pony explains to the readers that several children are inside the burning church and there is not a whole lot of time to wait for the fire department to come and rescue them. Pony wakes up, in a hospital bed being reunited with his brothers. He is told that Dally is fine, but that Johnny is in critical condition and might die. When he gets out he’s told that there will be a rumble with the Greasers vs. the Socs. Being in good condition, Pony wants in on the fight. Dally is released just in time for the fight. After the rumble, Dally got the news that Johnny is dying. When he gets to the hospital to tell him the victory of the brawl, he is told that fighting doesn’t solve anything and see Johnny’s painful death. Dally being very upset pretends to be armed and goes to the police only to be shot to death, joining Johnny.

As demonstrated, conflict has arisen in this story as a cause of the two opposing forces of the Socs and Greasers. The stereotypes show the cause for misunderstanding and how stereotypes are never right and that a group of people can never are categorized as the same. True individuality shines through with the use of characterization, proving the stereotypes to be erroneous. The conflict in this story is the consequence, the price paid for the rivalry, which was cause of preconceived notions and ignorance. Stereotypes are revealed to be false, individuality is at last illustrated through the developing characterization throughout the story, and the final blow out is a representation of what ignorance, labels, and rivalry bring about.

Works Cited
Hinton, S E. The Outsiders. N.p.: n.p., 1962. N. pag. Print. Manson, Margaret. “Stereotype Quotes & Quotations.” Think Exist. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. <http://thinkexist.com/?quotation/?instead_of_being_presented_with_stereotypes_by/?327616.html>.

Outsiders Book and Movie Comparison

The book and the movie of the Outsiders are two very different stories. The book has so much more detail then the movie. The movie is not the most detailed but it does get its point across. There are may similarities and also many differences between the two the book is by far more interesting and more detailed then the movie. I enjoyed the book a lot and the movies a lot but the movie was missing a lot. A few similarities between the movie and book are that the movie still has the complete Greaser gang Pony, Johnny, Soda, Darry, Dally, Two-Bit and Steve.

They still have some of the more sad part like when Johnny and Dally die. There is still lots of conflict between the Greasers and the Soc’s. There is still the situation where Johnny kills one of the Soc’s and Johnny and Ponyboy both skip town. They still go to the church and hide out for 5 days.

They still save the little kids from the burning church house. They still have the rumble and they also still win it. The settings are both still the same they both take place in Tulsa Oklahoma in the mid 1960’s. They both still have the same conflicts and the same out comes to the conflicts.

Both the book and the movies are very much alike. There are still a few differences like in the book, there is a rich west side and a poor east side. In the movie, there is a rich south side Soc and a poor north side Greaser. Darry doesn’t treat Pony as bad in the movie as he did in the book . Pony takes the death of Johnny and Dally a little less harder the movie then he did in the book. The movie dosen’t mention Sodapops horse Mickey Mouse. Sodapop and Dally aren’t blonds like they are in the book, instead they are brunettes in the movie.

The church that Ponyboy and Johnny run away to isn’t on a hill it is just out there. The movie also never mentions sodapops girl friend. In the book Soda gives Ponyboy money while in the book he didn’t. Also the book was written in Ponyboy’s perspective and the movie was not, the movie was written in everyone’s perspective. In the Movie the Socs were from the South instead of the West. Ponyboy doesn’t smoke as much in the movie as they said so in the book. Ponyboy Curtis in the fourteen-year-old boy that explains the story in both the book and the movie, and also the youngest of the greasers.

Ponyboy is ery intelligent compared to the rest of the gang he is most defenatly the smartest to them all. Because his parents have died in a car accident, Ponyboy lives with his two brothers Darry and Sodapop in both the book and movie. Darry repeatedly accuses Ponyboy of lacking common sense in the book more so then in the movie, but Ponyboy is a much brighter then his brother takes him for. Throughout the novel, Ponyboy struggles with class division, violence, innocence, and familial love but in the movie they dont focus on his school as much. He matures over the course of the book and the movie both.

Darrel Curtis Ponyboy’s oldest brother. Darrel, known as “Darry,” both in the book and in the movie. He is a twenty-year-old greaser who is raising Ponyboy because their parents have died in a car crash. Strong, athletic, and intelligent, Darry has quit school in the book and in the movie. He works two jobs to hold the family together. One of the leader of the greasers, he becomes an parent role model for Ponyboy. He also makes good chocolate cake, which he and his brothers eat every day for breakfast in the book but the movie really does not mention it. The other greasers call him “Superman. ”

Sodapop Curtis Ponyboy’s fun, intergetic, handsome brother. Sodapop is the middle Curtis boy. Ponyboy admires Sodapop’s good looks and charm. Sodapop is really a great person in both the book and the movie his plans are to marry Sandy , a greaser girl. Two-Bit Mathews The joker of Ponyboy’s group. Two-Bit, whose real name is Keith, is a wise-cracking greaser who regularly shoplift he gets in trouble a lot more in the movie more so then in the book. He loves his sleek black-handled switchblade so much in both the book and the movie. Dallas Winston the toughest hood in Ponyboy’s group of greasers.

Dallas, known as “Dally,” is a big bad teen who used to run with gangs in New York shown both in the book and the movie. He has an elfin face and icy blue eyes and, unlike the others he do not put grease in his white-blond hair. Dally’s violent tendencies make him more dangerous than the other greasers in both the book and the movie, and he takes pride in his criminal record more so in the book then the movie. Sandy is Sodapop’s girlfriend in both the book and the movie. Sandy is pregnant with another boys child and moves to Florida to live with her grandmother in both the book and the movie.

Like the other greaser girls, Sandy only is shown in the book and the movie when the boys mention her. Cherry Valance Bob’s girlfriend, she is a Soc cheerleader. When one night Ponyboy meets her at the movies in both the book and the movie. Cherry’s real name is Sheri, but people call her Cherry because of her red hair. Ponyboy and Cherry have so much in common, and Ponyboy feels comfortable talking to her more so mentioned in the book then in the movie. This is why I say the book of the Outsiders is far better then the movie. The movie is missing lots of detail and the book is far more interesting then the movie.

The Outsiders Analysis

When families break down pals are essential. In the unique “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton this message is displayed in lots of ways. Specific characters have been abandoned or disowned by their families, some characters have member of the family that have actually died and some don’t have any at all. Pony Boy Curtis, Johnny Cade and Dallas Winston all have experienced household breakdowns and every one of them has a devoted group of buddies to fall back on.

This shows why Friends are so essential. Household isn’t who you’re associated with, however who cares and is there for you when you require them.

Pony Boy Curtis is the primary character in “The Outsiders” unique and experiences two household breakdowns. One quickly prior to the novel was set and the other throughout the book. When Pony boy lost his parents before the book, he started to depend more on good friends than he ever did but he still had his bros.

When Pony Kid fled (Pg.) he had no household by his side, the only individual he had to depend on was his friend, Johnny. Ponyboy left his family and ran away with Johnny after he stabbed the Soc, without his buddy he would not have anybody to depend on. Ponyboy didn’t ditch his buddy when times looked tough, despite the fact that Ponyboy didn’t do anything he risked his future and perhaps life to wait his good friend. With Johnny’s household broken down all he could count on was Pony Boy

Johnny household is likewise broken down. Beaten by his daddy and overlooked by his mother, his family might not care for him much anymore however his friends constantly will. Johnny is likewise referred to as “the gangs kid brother”, Johnny only remains in town due to the fact that of the gang. When Johnny stabbed the Soc at the park, the night he ran away with Pony Young boy, Pony didn’t desert him; he ran away with him and assisted him escape difficulty by being by his side. Without his good friend Pony, Johnny wouldn’t have actually escaped and he would have been charged for murder. Johnny’s family would not have actually assisted him at a time like that however his finest buddy would not leave him. This is why friends are very important when household isn’t there. Sadly, Dallas Winston’s family isn’t there for him either that’s why he has such a close bond to all his buddies.

According to Dallas Winston his family “doesn’t care if he even come home at night.” His family has obviously broken down not in a way that is permanent but in a way that is hard and hurtful. That is why he has such a strong bond with his friends. For example, when Johnny died, Dallas lost control. He cared so much for him that he couldn’t control his emotions and broke down. From the way his family is portrayed in the novel, it appears that Johnny is like his brother, like family and so he cannot cope when he dies because he must feel like he has nobody now. It is obvious that Dallas is closer with his friends than his family and this is why friends are important.

To conclude, nearly everyone in the novel “The Outsiders” has experienced family breakdowns and all of them are there to pick each other up and support one another. The novel suggests that when your family is not there the only people you can turn to are your closest and most trusted friends.

“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a novel written by S.E. Hinton. Hinton wrote this story for many reasons and has won many awards for it.

This novel has affected the readers greatly. It is told from the view of a young boy named Ponyboy Curtis. It follows the troubles of him and his best friend Johnny Cade. Ponyboy lives in the poor neighborhood of their town with his two brothers. They are known as greasers. On the other side of town are the Socials or Socs. They are the rich kids. These two groups do not get along well and when a fight begins, Ponyboy and Johnny get in a lot of trouble with the Socs. They are forced to leave their town and run away. The readers learn from all the challenges they face living on their own. With that said, this coming of age novel truly shows the value of friendship, the trials and tribulations of finding yourself, and the conflicts between social classes.

The author of The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton was born in 1950 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her full name was Susan Eloise Hinton. As a child she loved to read and write. However, when she was a teen she couldn’t find any books that she was interested in. In an interview Hinton said, I’d wanted to read books that showed teen-angers outside the life of ‘Mary Jane went to the prom’. When I couldn’t find any, I decided to write one myself. (Hinton and Ehrichs) She then created her own story about teens that was more realistic and exciting. Hinton wrote two novels and finally came up with the idea to make The Outsiders. She began writing this story at just sixteen years old and got the inspiration for her characters from real events that happened in her high school years. In fact, she believed that Ponyboy reflected her the most. She also wanted to write this story to create a different world where there were no adult figures to rule over the kids. This novel was worked on for a year and a half and had four rewrites. After all of this she let her friend’s mother read it. The mother loved the book and referred her to an agent named Marilyn Marlow of the Curtis Brown Agency. During her graduation ceremony, Hinton received a contract offering publication. The Outsiders was then published in 1967. Hinton was only 17 at the time. The novel won several awards and was critically acclaimed. Since the book was such a success, Hinton was able to go to the University of Tulsa. Here she earned a B.S in Education in 1970 and met her husband, David Inhofe. He encouraged her to write her second novel. Over the next ten years, she published a new novel every four years. Writing kept Hinton busy, but when she wasn’t writing she was tending to her son, Nicholas David. She still writes to this day and has remained in Tulsa. Hinton is best known for her choice of characters, Her characters are frequently larger than life, almost mythic, and are social outcasts (Chaston). One of her biggest achievements was winning the Margaret Edwards Young Adult Author Achievement Ward in 1988 from the American Library Association. The Outsiders really started her career and it has helped her grow.

This novel is told from the perspective of 14 year old Ponyboy Curtis. Ponyboy lives in the poorer side of town and is part of a group known as the Greasers. The kids on the other side of town are wealthy and social. They’re known as the Socs. The Socs and the Greasers are not big fans of each other. Once, Ponyboy’s best friend Johnny Cade was brutally injured in a fight with a Soc. Ponyboy and Johnny go to the movies with some of their friends, including a boy named Dallas Winston. After the movie, Johnny and Ponyboy get into a quarrel with a group of drunk Soc boys. When Johnny accidentally kills one of them, trouble strikes. Ponyboy and Johnny run away with the help of Dallas. They move into an abandoned church and must now fend for themselves. One day Dallas stops by the church and takes the boys out for lunch. When they come back they see that that the church is up in flames and there are some kids inside. Ponyboy and Johnny rescue the kids, but Johnny is extremely injured and taken to the hospital. When the boys visit Johnny in the hospital they realize he is dying. Meanwhile, there is to be a rumble between the Socs and the Greasers. The boys fight and afterwards Dally takes Pony to see Johnny in the hospital. Johnny dies and Dally is in distress. The one thing he loved is now gone. Out of anger he robs a store and when the police find him, he is shot. After recovering Ponyboy begins to write his English essay. He bases it around the events that have happened and decides he wants it to spread the message that there is good and the world and it is possible to stay good.

Works Cited

Hinton, S. E., and Lisa Ehrichs. “”Advice from a Penwoman.”” Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Jeffrey W. Hunter and Deborah A. Schmitt, vol. 111, Gale, 1999. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018. Originally published in Seventeen, vol. 40, Nov. 1981, p. 32.

Hinton, S. E.The Outsiders. New York: Viking, 1967.

Moss, Joyce, and George Wilson. “”Overview: The Outsiders.”” Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influenced Them, vol. 5: Civil Rights Movements to Future Times (1960-2000), Gale, 1997. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

“”S(usan) E(loise) Hinton.”” Contemporary Literary Criticism Select, Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

“”The Outsiders.”” Novels for Students, edited by Marie Rose Napierkowski, vol. 5, Gale, 1999, pp. 281-304. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.

Johnny and Ponyboy in “The Outsiders”

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton is about, a gang going through a lot of drama and trauma only to lose the one person who could hold their gang together, Johnny. In The Outsiders, two members of the Greasers gang, Johnny and Ponyboy, get into a fight with some members of the Socs, their rival gang. They kill one of the Socs and go on the run.

One character that stands out in the story is Johnny because he causes the main conflict in this novel. Through Johnny’s miserable, brave, and thoughtful life, he learns that you begin to lose your innocence when you experience the harsh realities of the world. Johnny can be described as miserable for many reasons.

One example that shows Johnny’s misery is when Ponyboy was talking about how Johnny’s parents neglected and abused him. On page 12, S. E. Hinton states He would have ran away a million times if we hadn’t been there. This shows that the whole gang helps Johnny through hard times with his parents. Another example of Johnny’s unhappiness is when Ponyboy and Johnny went to the fountain after Darry hit Ponyboy. According to the novel on page 51, Johnny says, … At least you got Soda, I got nobody. Therefore, Johnny believes that nobody cares for him even though the whole gang cares about him. From these examples, it is clear that Johnny isn’t happy, because he thinks that he is all alone and nobody is there for him.

Not only does Johnny display sad behavior he also proves to be brave. This is apparent when he rushed back into the church in order to save the children from the fire. Hinton states Johnny looked over his shoulder and saw the door was blocked by flames, then paused opened the window and tossed out the nearest kid. on page 92. This reveals Johnny’s bravery by running back into the church to help those children and Ponyboy. Another example is when Johnny killed Bob in order to save Ponyboy. On page 57, Johnny says … I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you.. This shows that Johnny will do whatever he can to save himself or others. Readers can see that Johnny is very courageous by doing all of these life-risking activities in order to help others.

The final and most important description that Johnny has is his thoughtfulness. For instance, in chapter 5, when Johnny and Ponyboy run away to Windrixville and they were in the abandoned church Ponyboy says ‘A paperback copy of Gone with the Wind! How’d you know I always wanted one?’ Johnny redenned. ‘I remembered you sayin’ something bout it once…’ on page 71. In just a few actions, Johnny showed how much he cared for Ponyboy, and that he does listen to others. In another scene, Johnny shows his attentive behavior again when he was talking to Ponyboy before he died. His last words were Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold. on page 148. All in all, he was taking into consideration the poem that Ponyboy told him. Johnny told Ponyboy to stay gold because he wanted Ponyboy to know that he had been thinking about Pony and the poem that he told Johnny. Hinton leaves readers with the definite impression that Johnny is very much caring towards his friends and others.

In the novel The Outsiders, Johnny learned that you can lose your innocence very quickly through having to kill Bob, being abused by his parents, and having to go on the run. By living through all of those harsh realities of the world, Johnny learns that your innocence is very important and you should do whatever you can, in order to keep your innocence for as long as you can. Ultimately, you should never wish your childhood away or wish to grow up, because you don’t know what you’re going to encounter when you’ve grown up.

The Outsiders: PonyBoy Character (Traits)

S.E. Hinton is one of the best known American authors. She has written many novels, none of which are as famous as her young adult novel, The Outsiders.

This story is novel about a young man’s struggle to survive in a world filled with gangs, violence, and poverty. PonyBoy the narrator is a fourteen year old boy who happens to come from a dangerous neighborhood on the poor side of town. Ponyboy and his poor group of friend are known as the Greasers. The Socs are known as the rich kids from the West side of town. Ponyboy had many violences with the Socs. The Greasers are more than just Ponyboys friends, they are more like a family. In fact two of the groups members were his older brothers. And there brothers were Sodapop and Darry. Darry is the oldest brother out of the two. Darry is also his legal guardian since his parents had recently died in a car accident. The Greasers named themselves the Greasers because of a reference to the gangs signature hairstyle, long and slicked back, with lots of grease.

In the beginning of the story, Ponyboy was a shy young man. When Ponyboy and Sodapop meet new people such ass Cherry and Marsh, Ponyboy is very shy. Ponyboy’s literary interests and academic accomplishments set him apart from the rest of the gang. Because his parents have died in a car accident, Ponyboy lives with his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. Ponyboy was smart because he reads a lot and takes school seriously. Unlike some Greasers, Ponyboy values school. Darry said that he wants Ponyboy to get only A,s and that Darry is not happy with B,s, probably because he knows he is capable of it. Ponyboy was the smartest out of all.

Because of his friend died from trying to save the kids from the school that was on fire. Ponyboy was sad, Ponyboy was mad at the point where he did not care about anything. Ponyboy was was courageous enough to say “I will leave my stuff and run away!” So Ponyboy was not shy anymore, he got brave. He ain’t scared to fight the Socs anymore. Ponyboy use to be scared of his big brother, Darry. And the group of Greasers and Socs got into a fight. Ponyboy got a lot tougher because of his friend Johnny died. Ponyboy was brave enough to fight the Socs with his gang.

In conclusion, the Outsiders has great content. It would be great if young people can watch the movie because they can actually learn from what can happen if you were in a gang. The Outsiders argue that violence and criminal activity aren’t isolated to people in the lower economic classes, but that people in the lower economic classes are punished more often and more severely for any crimes they commit. This is a symbol of the journey that Ponyboy has been on. It shows that he was able to work through all of the destruction that occurred throughout the story.

The Outsiders: Main Theme of Innocence

When we are young, we are curious about life. We are nature’s first green. Young, carefree and worriless.

We lived happily without stress. This is not an easy thing to keep. Those days slowly become harder to have as you get older. We have responsibilities and more worries. This same thing goes on in the novel The Outsiders written by S.E. Hinton, where one of the main themes is innocence. The definition is different than what you might think. For the characters, it is not just about what they have seen or done, it is how that changes them, and if they can still find positive aspects in the world. All of the boys have a different innocence because of the way they see the their life and the world around them, whether it is Ponyboy watching sunsets, Johnny still finding the little things that make him happy like reading, or Dally giving up on loving anything. Ponyboy is the narrator of the story, and tells his world through his own prospective. He is much more innocent than many of the characters in the book because he is thankful for what he still has.

As Ponyboy says in the novel I’ll fight anyone anytime, but I don’t like to (pg 114.2) which means he doesn’t like to fight and hates violence, but living where he does takes away innocence because violence is a part of life. He is not like the other boys in a way, because he said I liked my books and clouds and sunsets(pg. 66.2) which are still things that make help you maintain your innocence. But for Pony, he still had traumatic experiences that made him lose innocence such as when Mom and Dad were killed in an auto wreck(pg.4.2), Ponyboy had to grow up faster. He had to go through the feeling of loss which made him lose innocence, although he sees a positive in this because he didn’t lose his brothers. His brother Darry had to step up and take his father’s place and that meant the Ponyboy wouldn’t have the fun lighthearted Darry anymore. Overall, Ponyboy is less innocent than most of the characters in the book because he chooses to not follow the stereotypes of being a Greaser such as getting into fights. Another character who is similar to Ponyboy is Johnny.

Johnny didn’t have a great home life and he wasn’t loved there, although he still managed to keep a little innocence. If it hadn’t been for the gang, Johnny would never have known what love and affection are. (pg. 11.2) Johnny only maintains his innocence because of the gang. He doesn’t have a good home life and he is neglected and abused. He lost a lot of innocence because he doesn’t have a family to love and care for him one of his main sources of innocence is the gang. He also is selfless and he is not hardened like Dally. That was the only time I can think of when I saw him without that defeated, suspicious look in his eyes. He looked like he was having the time of his life. (pg. 79.2) He decided to go into the fire instead of standing back like Dally and help the kids. This shows that he is up for adventure and cares about others. He knows that he doesn’t have a great future, so he decided to risk his own life to help kids who might have more of a chance. In conclusion, Johnny is somewhat innocent because he has the gang to love him and he cares about others, although he doesn’t have a good home life. Johnny is more similar to Dally than Ponyboy because of his family.

Dally has hardened himself up and he lost all of his innocence in his hard life. Dally has had to harden up since a young age. Dally had spent three years on the wild side of New York and had been arrested at the age of ten (pg. 10.2). He grew up in a rough neighborhood which made him have to toughen up at an early age so he didn’t get hurt. He never got the real affection of a father either, and the only people who love him is the gang. The only innocence he had left came from the gang, and especially Johnny. “Dammit, Johnny…” he begged, slamming one fist against the wall, hammering it to make it obey his will. “Oh, dammit, Johnny, don’t die, please don’t die…” (pg. 127.2) Johnny was Dally’s last shred of innocence, and nobody can live without any innocence at all, so Dally didn’t have anything else to live for. Overall, Dally is the least innocent of the gang because he turned cold and hard since you don’t get hurt that way.

The boys all have a different innocence because of the way their lives are whether it is Dally living on the streets of New York, Johnny having a terrible home life and only being loved by the gang, or Ponyboy losing his parents, they all went through something that made them less innocent. Ponyboy is more innocent than many members of the gang because he can still find positive aspects of his life such as not losing his brothers, and having a gang who loves him. Johnny is less innocent than Ponyboy because he doesn’t have a family who loves him, and that impacts him and makes him see his home life very negatively. Dally has completely lost his innocence and love for the world. He hardened himself because he thought that you don’t get hurt if you get tough. Because we all have different lives and experiences that make us who we are. If everyone had the same innocence and views that would not make a diverse world. It is not just about what you have seen, it is about how that changes who you are and your personality.

The Outsiders Book Summary

Although the exact location is not specified, I can assume (after looking at Hinton’s FAQ and the online version of the book) that The Outsiders takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was Hinton’s hometown and the site of her high school (as stated by herself). In addition, Tulsa is considered a cowboy town.

And several of the characters like Dally and Sodapop had a profound love with horses (like Mickey). Dally was also into rodeos which could be shown in the following, He got drunk, he rode in rodeos, lied, cheated, stole, rolled drunks, jumped small kidshe did everything. I didn’t like him, but I had to respect him. (Hinton 10). Dally also has a rodeo partner who was Buck Merrill. He was described as a tall and lanky cowboy (Hinton 51) who loves Hank Williams, a country singer in the 1950’s. The things we do know, however, is that PonyBoy’s town is divided by economic and social classes. On the west side of the town, the wealthy Socs live there (Greaser’s enemies). On the east side of town, the poor Greasers and other hoods live in that area (it is their territory).

You can imagine the scenery with the Socs having tuff mustangs, drinks at their will, and leather jackets, while the Greasers could not even afford money for their education in college. This can be shown by the following, Darry didn’t deserve to work like an old man when he was only twenty. He had been a real popular guy in school; he was captain of the football team and he had been voted Boy of the Year. 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. (Hinton 15). We also know that they did not live in the countryside but lived in the suburban area of the state they lived in (Tulsa, Oklahoma is a suburban area). This could be shown by the following,In the country… I loved the country. I wanted to be out of towns and away from excitement. I only wanted to lie on my back under a tree and read a book or draw a picture, and not worry about being jumped or carrying a blade or ending up married to some scatterbrained broad with no sense. (Hinton 42). O

n a side note, the actual time period is never specified. But I believe that it is around the 1960’s. This is because as the story progresses, references about the Ford Mustang are shown. This was a sports car that is admired by both the Socs and the Greasers. And the thing is, this sports car was mass produced starting at 1964 ( according to https://classicponycars.com/history.html.com). In addition, Socs and Greasers enjoyed going into their local movie theatre, a popular activity for teenagers in the late 1960’s. (according to https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-history-of-the-drive-in-movie-theater-51331221/). This claim could be shown by the following, I had a long walk home and no company, but I usually lone it anyway, for no reason except that I like to watch movies undisturbed so I can get into them and live them with the actors. (Hinton 4). There were also references made in remarks about the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Paul Newman who were known in the mid 1960’s. This book started and ended with a timespan of approximately 20 days.

On the first day, Ponyboy is found by the Soc’s and is attacked, only for his family and friends shortly to arrive to rescue him (Chapter 1). On the second day, Ponyboy finds two girls from the Socs (Cherry and Marcia), in which they go to the local movie theatre with Two-Bit and Johnny (Chapter 2 and 3). Then, later that night, Johnny murders Bob (from the Socs) as an act of self defense. Because of this, they have to run away from their town (Chapter 4). On the third day, Johnny and Ponyboy arrive at their runaway destination where Ponyboy cuts and bleaches his precious hair. They spend the next 5 days reading Gone with the Wind and smoking packs of cigarettes as time passes on (Chapter 5). On the eighth day, Dally, Johnny, and Ponyboy save children from a burning church.

This results in Johnny having a broken back and the rest of them having minor injuries (Chapter 6). On the ninth day, the rumble occurs and the Greasers pull off a victory. Later that night, Johnny dies from the injuries that had happened to him when a piece of the building fell on his back. Because of this, Dally intended to rob a grocery store to die from the police officers by pulling out his heater (Chapter 8-10). After this incident, Ponyboy lies in bed for approximately a week since he was not feeling so good after the rumble (Chapter 11). On the seventeenth day, the Greasers had to go to a hearing in court to see if any charges counted against them. And then approximately 3 days later, Ponyboy started to work on his assignment for school already having a topic in mind.