The Outsiders, an enthralling tale by S.E. Hinton, is an excellent story about the hardships and  triumphs experienced by the Greasers and the Socs, two rival gangs.  This novel suggests the stories¹  content because the Greasers are a gang of social outcasts and misfits.  This novel¹s 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.   The fictional novel  is set in a moderate-size city, possibly near Texas, in the late 1960¹s.  Ponyboy, the main character, lives with his brothers as a greaser.  One day Ponyboy and Johnny,  Ponyboy¹s 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 it¹s okay to come out.  They go out to eat and when they get back to the church they find it  burning.  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 Ponyboy¹s parents die and they are upset, and when Johnny dies and it  disturbs the Greasers.  It is shown that the Greasers and Socs strive for the same goals when Darry,  Ponyboy¹s older brother, tells him that he should succeed in school and make something of himself, and  Bob is always trying to make his father happy with him.  These examples show that all people, Soc,  Greaser, or whatever, all strive to achieve the same goals and encounter the same disappointments.

The theme that all people experience the same disappointments and strive for the same goals is  also depicted in modern times.  All people want to have a good job, make a lot of money, and live a good  life.  Everyone also encounters hardships throughout their life.  Their car can break down, their loved  ones can die, and they can run out of money.  As you can see, this theme is important not only in The  Outsiders, but in everyday life as well.

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William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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