Innocence In S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders

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Did you know that “76% of parents feel guilty about saying “no” to their kids?” (Janice D'Arcy). S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the late 1960s, and follows a fourteen-year-old boy named “Ponyboy,” and his group the “Greasers.” Ponyboy and his group are constantly quarreling with the west-side “Socs,” and the Greasers always get the short end of the stick. At the beginning of the story, Ponyboy comes home after curfew, making Ponyboy’s brother “Darry” pretty mad, causing them to start fighting and out of mixed emotion, Darry slaps Ponyboy. Next, Ponyboy and another Greaser, “Johnny,” are by a fountain when a couple of Socs attack, and start to drown Ponyboy. Johnny, after being beaten to near death by Socs on an earlier date, kills a Soc named “Bob” with a switchblade, scaring off the other Socs. In the end, Ponyboy is asked to write a composition based on a theme for school and ends up telling his own story (Hinton). Within the novel, the Socs get all the breaks and the Greasers get …show more content…

For example, in chapter four, Ponyboy writes “Five Socs were coming straight at us, and from the way they were staggering I figured they were reeling pickled” (Hinton 42). Another disadvantage of being a Soc is that they can’t receive blame or lose credibility. Accordingly, in chapter seven, Randy tells Ponyboy “‘one time he came home drunker than anything--You know what they did? They thought it was something they’d done’” (Hinton 89). A final disadvantage of being a Soc is having a blank personality, and how to they fill that hole with anger. To illustrate, in chapter nine, Ponyboy records “and from what I’ve heard, a lot of Socs are just cold-blooded mean--but people usually go by looks” (Hinton 107). Overall, underage drinking, incapable of receiving blame, and filling a blank personality with a angry attitude is just a few of many disadvantages to being a

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