Themes In S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders

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In the book The Outsiders, written by S.E. Hinton, a young “greaser” named Ponyboy learns, through brutal clashes with the Socs, the harsh reality of violence. The book focuses on Ponyboy and his gang’s battle with the richer class Socs, and the various effects. Many of these run-ins lead to horrific consequences, such as bad injuries and even death. The three topics addressed in the thought-provoking novel are the fight between rich and poor, what it means to be a hero, and the power of friendship.
To begin with, the conflict between the rich and the poor is a subject that was clearly evident throughout the book with the Socs and greasers at each others’ throats all the time. For example, the book states, “‘Need a haircut, greaser?’ The medium-sized
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To illustrate, it is said in the book that “Then there were shouts and the pounding of feet, and the Socs jumped up and left me lying there, gasping …. By then I had figured that all the noise I had heard was the gang coming to rescue me” (6-7). This shows that Ponyboy’s friends came to the rescue and saved him from the Socs when they heard him yelling. If not for these friends, Ponyboy could have been seriously injured, or even killed. Moreover, S.E. Hinton wrote, “Johnny asked no questions. We ran for several blocks … I finally sat down on the curb and cried, burying my face in my arms. Johnny sat down beside me, one hand on my shoulder. ‘Easy, Ponyboy,’ he said softly, ‘we’ll be okay’” (51). This truly demonstrates friendship at its best, with Johnny saying nothing and simply following when Ponyboy tells him that they are running away. Johnny knows that his friend is very upset and needs him to be there to help and comfort him, and Johnny does just this. Ultimately, this book illustrates that friendship will keep someone going, even at the hardest times, as abundantly shown by the

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