Gang Rivalries In The Outsiders

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Gang rivalries always string along much more than just a bitter rivalry and some

tension. For the Gresers and Socs, it led to murder. For these two gangs the root of their

rivalry is their social and economic differences. The Greasers are East side lower class

kids who grease up their hair and the Socs are high class stuck ups from nice

neighborhoods. The Greasers despite being thought of as ruthless criminals have a unique

sense of loyalty among themselves. Empathy is also key to the resolution of the intense,

violent rivalry between these two young gangs. In the novel The Outsiders the harsh

reality of social gaps, the paradox of honor among the lawless, and the need for empathy

as a resolution for conflicts, are key elements to
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Once, Johnny, a Greaser, got jumped and he

never walked alone again and carried a switchblade. “"You know what a greaser is" Bob

asked. "White trash with long hair.”… "You know what a Soc is?" I said, my voice

shaking with rage. "White trash with Mustangs and madras."”

The Greasers have a reputation for being senseless, lawless young felons. Yet they

have an admirable sense of loyalty for one another, which is reflected in their behavioral

code and actions from some of the characters. For example, Darry Curtis, Ponyboy’s

oldest brother, gave up a college scholarship in order to work to be able to provide for his

little brothers since their parents had passed away. Furthermore, Dally Winston

demonstrates his heroism when he dies saving Johnny from the burning church. “But I

remembered Dally pulling Johnny through the window of the burning church; Dally

giving us his gun, although it could mean jail for him; Dally risking his life for us, trying

to keep Johnny out of trouble.” (Hinton 154).

Loyalty is about how much one is willing to sacrifice for another person. Darry

sacrificed his college education, his degree, his future because of his sense
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