The Outsiders

The Outsiders

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Title: The Outsiders
Author: S.E. Hinton
Publication Information: Dell Publishing, 1967; 156 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Novel

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, is about the rivalry of two gangs, Greasers and Socials. The Greasers are low class and the Socials are high class.

In The Outsiders there are two rival gangs, one from the lower class, who are the Greasers and their rivals are from the upper class, they are the Socials. The story takes place in the mid 1960’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The story is set in a large town in the United States, The east side of the town is where the Greasers live and the west side is where the Socs live. The story is told in first person narration from Ponyboy Curtis’s point of view. The protagonist is Ponyboy Curtis and the other major characters are,
Sodapop Curtis, Darrel Curtis, Johnny Cade, Two-Bit and Dally Winston. The mood of the story in the beginning is bitter and rebellious and then later on in the middle of the story the mood becomes furious. During the end of the novel the mood changes to anticipation and the tone in the story is aggravation and rage.

In the beginning Ponyboy Curtis is attacked by the Socs and is being threaten to slit his throat and then the Greasers come and scare away the Socs to save Ponyboy. The next night Ponyboy and Johnny go to a movie with Dally, they sit behind a pair of attractive girls. Dally flirts with them offensively and then Johnny stands up and tells him to stop harassing them. Dally walks away with rage and then Johnny and Ponyboy sit with the girls. Two-Bit arrives with 3 other Greasers to walk home the Soc girls. On the way Randy and Bob the drunken boyfriends meet the Greasers. They girls leave the Greasers and get in the Socs’s car to prevent a fight. Ponyboy is late getting home, so his brother Darrel is furious with him, Ponyboy sick of Darrel’s constant criticism and enquiry, Ponyboy yells back at him. The brothers have a furious argument and Darrel slaps Ponyboy across the face. Ponyboy runs away with Johnny, they encounter Randy and Bob at the park. The Socs attack Ponyboy and Johnny, They hold Ponyboy’s head underwater until Ponyboy blacks out. Ponyboy regains consciousness and finds him lying on the ground. Johnny is beside him and next to Bob’s corpse, Johnny tells Ponyboy that he stabbed Bob because they were drowning you.

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Frightened, Ponyboy and Johnny hurry to find Dally, Dally gives them a gun and some money and sends them to an abandoned church in Windrixville. They hide in the church for a week and cutting and dying their hair to disguise themselves, reading “Gone with the Wind” and discussing. Dally comes to check on them, he tells them that after Bob’s death rivalry between the Greasers and the Socs have amplified. He says a rumble is planned to settle the matters, Johnny shocks Dally by declaring his intention to go back and turn himself in. Dally agrees to drive the boys back home, but they notice that the church has caught on fire. When they get near, they discover that school kids have wandered inside. Ponyboy and Johnny rush into the inferno to save the children, just as they get the last child out through the window, the roof caves in and Ponyboy blacks out. Ponyboy regains consciousness in an ambulance. At the hospital, he is diagnosed with minor burns and bruises. Dally is not badly injured either, but Johnny’s back has been broken by the falling roof, and he is critical condition. Later on, the Greasers and the Socs are getting ready for the rumble. At last after a devastating rumble, the Greasers win. After the fight Ponyboy and Dally hurry to visit Johnny at the hospital and find out that he is dying. When Johnny dies, Dally loses control and runs from the room in fury. Ponyboy stumbles home late that night, feeling stunned and shattered. He tells the others of Johnny's death. Dally calls to say that he has robbed a grocery store and the cops are looking for him. The greasers hurry to find him, but they are too late. Dally raises a gun to the police and they shoot him down. Overwhelmed, Ponyboy passes out. Ponyboy wakes up in bed at home. He has suffered a concussion from a kick to the head at the rumble and has been restless in bed for several days. When he is well, he attends his hearing, where the judge treats him kindly and acquits him of responsibility for Bob's death. The court rules that Ponyboy will be allowed to remain at home with Darrel. The climax is when Johnny kills the Soc and Ponyboy and Johnny run away to the abandoned church.

Overall, I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars. This novel deals with family, relationships, loyalty, and relations between social classes. I can relate to this novel in many ways. Some of them are how in our community, there are rivalry between a different race and how one part of the community is for only one race. I can also relate to this novel, by how in life the weak is pushed around by the stronger one, which is unfair, but that’s how life is, it’s unfair. The writing is very effective and powerful, it shows a different perspective of life. I would recommend this book to others because how it teaches you what life is all about. It shows you the hardships of life and the ups and downs of life, and you must not give up but fight back because you will succeed.
In conclusion, what I have learned from this novel is that life is unfair, and there are situations in life when you just want to drop and give up, but one who stands up to fights back is the true champion. I have also learned to view life another perspective.
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