Culture In The Outsiders

600 Words3 Pages
Culture, or the environment a person is exposed to, can alter how people behave, along with shaping part of someone’s, or their whole, life. Throughout the novel The Outsiders, readers can see just how harshly culture can change people. Many of the novel’s characters, whether they were labeled as Socials (Socs) or greasers, have experienced or expressed changes in themselves that were caused by their culture. The most prevalent part of their culture was their parents. After their parents’ deaths, the Curtis brothers’ lives were drastically changed. Darry had to work two jobs at the mere age of twenty while Soda became a high school dropout. Even Ponyboy began to feel that his love went unrequited thus he grew a hatred for Darry. Other characters,…show more content…
For somebody to tell him ‘No.’ To have somebody lay down the law… give him something solid to stand on’” (Hinton 116). Without their guidance, Bob turned to violence in a desperate attempt for his parents to pay attention to him. On the other hand, friendship is another aspect of culture that further affects people. In The Outsiders, both greasers and Socs have formed negative friend groups called cliques. According to the article “Click or Clique: Positive and Negative Teen Social Groups,” cliques are, “organized around power and popularity” (Hartwell-Walker & Grohol). Cliques can even take away a member’s individuality. Even though greasers were focused less on public image, greasers and Socs do have unwritten, yet set standards for anyone in their gang or group. As a young teen wanting to belong, Ponyboy began to change in order to “fit in” with the greasers. He strongly disliked fighting but as time went on, he began to participate in them despite thinking, “There isn’t any real good reason for fighting except self-defense” (Hinton 137). In contrast, Socs like Cherry Valance and Randy began to act as if they fit the stereotype that was given to the Socs in order to keep their
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