‘The Outsiders’ is written by S.E. Hinton. It is set in the 1960s in a
town in the USA. It is about the conflict of the two main teenager
gangs called the Socs (short for Socials) and the Greasers. The Socs
live on the West side where they live a supposedly better life with
everything that they want and the Greasers live on the East side with
nothing much but anger and jealousy about the Socs who always seem to
be privileged in every way. The conflict (a state of disharmony
between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a
clash.) remains strong because of the dissatisfaction of the opposing
gangs with their lives.
Socs and Greasers are separated into two different groups mainly
because of the economic differences of their families. Socs can go on
skiing holidays while the Greasers hang around at home and the cinema.
Other than economically, they also think differently and have
different values. “You’re more emotional, we are sophisticated - cool
to the point of not feeling anything…” (Cherry Valance, Ch.3, page 44)
Socs get high education, they can go to college and make the track
team, while the Greasers drop out of school and work or hang around
The conflicts between the Greasers and the Socs are both violent and
non violent. The violent conflicts in this book are the gang fights.
Both gangs call a massive gang fight a ‘rumble’. It is where both
gangs fight each other face to face when something ‘big’ happens and
needs to be solved. The two main gangs (Greasers and the Socs) usually
choose skin fights over weapon fights. The main fight between Bob,
Pony, Randy and Johnny is the scene where Johnny kills Bob because Bob
wanted to drown Pony and beat Jo...
... middle of paper ...
... the characters in this book
are social conflicts, inter-group conflicts and personal conflicts.
The forms of conflict can be resolved after sorting out the
misunderstandings between each other. Even though the groups are
separated by their financial circumstances and by their physical
location on opposite sides of the town, the difference does not
necessarily make natural enemies of the two gangs. Members of both
groups inevitably experience fear, love, sorrow, sometimes also
misunderstandings and discrimination, regardless of whether they live
on the East-side or the West-side. Ponyboy writes his theme about the
deaths of three boys that he knew as an attempt to tell other boys
“living on the wrong sides of cities” that there was still “good in
the world” (Page 189). This is his tribute to the power of tolerance
over the destructive effects of violence.
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