Stay on the Outside with ‘The Outsiders’

April 14, 2023

Combine the normal stereotypical groups of teen boys with weapons, and you will get “The Outsiders,” a novel written by S.E. Hinton

She wrote “The Outsiders” in 1967 when she was 15 years old and still in high school. Publishing it when she was 17, she wrote it to try and attempt to prove that the lower socio-economic-based Greasers were human, sensitive youths deserving understanding and even respect despite society’s stereotypes.

“The Outsiders” features an action-packed plot that follows the main character, Ponyboy, as he discovers who he really is and what he decides to do when a big conflict pops up.

All of the actors for the film pose as the characters; they are posing for a picture here: Ponyboy, Johnny, Soda-pop, Darry, Darrell, Keith and Steve.      Photograh by @circlecinema via Instagram

From the perspective of Ponyboy, the reader is introduced to his friends and family who make up the outsiders, also known as the greasers because of their slicked-back dark hair.

Ponyboy has two siblings: Darry- the oldest, and Sodapop- Ponyboy’s closest brother.

Nearly as close as his family, Ponyboy’s friends include Johnny- the runt of the group, Dallas, “Two-Bit” and Steve.

Right away, the reader finds out Ponyboy’s parents died when he and his siblings were younger, and one of his brothers, Darry, acts like the father of the group.

Most of the characters get along very well except for Ponyboy and Darry because Darry is trying to protect him by keeping him out of trouble.

On the other side of town is another group, known as the socials, abbreviated by the author to be the “socs.” The socs are richer than the greasers and usually have lighter colored hair.

The actors take a picture in front of the house they used for the set in the film.  Photograph by @circlecinema via Instagram

As the book goes on, the interactions between the greasers and the socs become violent, leading to the main conflict of the story.

The greasers are usually targeted by the socs first since they live on the poorer side of town, but life becomes difficult for the greasers since the socs have so many connections, leading to legal punishments if the greasers try to fight back.

However, Ponyboy is very different from the greasers, highlighting the self-identity versus group-identity theme.

When the socs take things too far, the Greasers have to take things into their own hands, leading to conflicts like never before.

With a feather rating of 4 out of 5 feathers, the Outsiders is a retro, classic read that focuses on modern conflicts teens still face that I would highly recommend.

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