Of Stereotyping In S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders

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The novel The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton illustrates a theme of stereotyping and its effect on the characters. The protagonist, Ponyboy Curtis is the most affected by stereotyping. Ponyboy is stereotyped as a greaser. He accepts this stereotype, but is negatively affected by it, because society views greasers as poor, bellicose, delinquents from the East Side. While some may state that Ponyboy is a normal person, I view Ponyboy as a greaser, because of the way he acts and relates to other greasers. As stated previously, Ponyboy is stereotyped as a greaser. This is because of how he looks, where he lives, and who he associates with. For example, Ponyboy lives on the East Side of his town, where money is far more scarce, and he only lives with his two brothers. Due to this disposition, Ponyboy becomes more susceptible to stereotyping. Ponyboy lives in a neighborhood with other greasers, as well. “We steal things and drive…show more content…
However, he is negatively affected by it. An example of Ponyboy accepting his stereotype is when he fights in the rumble against the Socs, with the other greasers. He is not ashamed to be fighting with his friends, even though he states that he has no reason for fighting. Additionally, Ponyboy is upset when he is forced to cut and bleach his hair, because he wanted to look “tuff” like his friends. Ponyboy was genuinely upset about his hair, therefore he accepts his appearance as a greaser, as well. Ponyboy is negatively affected by the stereotype because he gets into multiple legal problems. He is forced to go to court because his friend, Johnny, killed a Soc named Bob. “Greasers can’t walk alone too much or they’ll get jumped, or someone come by and scream “Greaser!” at them, which doesn’t make you feel too hot, if you know what I mean” (2). This quote has significance because it epitomizes the negative affect the stereotype has on

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