The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton Research Paper
“I wished I looked like Paul Newman. He looks tough and I don’t. The other thing-it’s a long walk home with no company…And nobody in our gang digs movies and books the way I do. So I lone it” (Hinton, 1967, p.6). From this passage, it is evident that the main character, Ponyboy Curtis, who is fourteen years of age, will be telling the story from the first person perspective. This is important to the story because he describes the events in a slangy, youthful voice that makes his narration easily believable.
I liked this passage because it shows that though Ponyboy belongs to a gang, he is not stereotypical as he loves being alone in pursuit of his own interests. On the other hand, this passage does not interest me in the sense that Ponyboy wishes to be another person, instead of focusing on his own strengths. The fact that Ponyboy regards himself as “superior,” despite his young age, to other gang members amazes me.
“…so I can still help Darry with the bills and stuff…Tuff enough. Wait till I get out…I told you he don’t mean half of what he says…” (Hinton, 1967, page 26). This phrase illustrates the method of communication between the gang members. Since they speak in street slang, this illustrates that the two rival groups of the greasers and the Socs share some things in common.
This potential for agreement is important for the story since the reader can feel the aversion between the two teenage groups when they are engaging in a conversation. I like this method of communication because it is able to harmonize the division between the groups. However, I hate it because it is full of grammatical errors. Though the interpretation of this street slang may be difficult, it is an interesting youthful way of talking.
“I could fall in love with Dallas Winston. I hope I never see him again, or I will” (Hinton, 1967, p.46). This quote is what Cheery told Ponyboy when they were having a conversation in chapter three. I like this conversation since it shows that Dallas Winston, the meanest person, could make a lady, like Cherry-a Soc girl with good habits, like him.
This also amuses me as well. I hate the words Cheery uses in this instance because she seems not to be considering the personality of Dallas. She is simply speaking because she has been driven by emotions. Cherry’s attraction to Dallas is of essence in the story since it illustrates that the conflict between the two teenage groups is reconcilable.
“I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you. And they had a blade… they were gonna beat me up…” (Hinton, 1967, p.57). These words were spoken by Johnny to Pony. I liked this phrase because it shows the sincerity in Johnny. Although he had killed Bob, he only did so to defend himself, otherwise he could have been killed instead.
One thing I hate about this incidence is that instead of finding an easier way of solving the problem, Johnny, a greaser, opted to commit murder. It is sad that Bob, who played a critical role in defending the Socs, lost his life in such an unfortunate way. The death of Bob increased the rivalry between the two contending gangs.
Ponyboy thinks, “That was the first time I realized the extent of Johnny’s hero-worship for Dallas Winston” (Hinton, 1967, p.76). This is another phrase that captures my attention in the novel. After reading Gone with the Wind, the boys come to terms with what they are going through.
I like this phrase because the book managed to open Ponyboy’s eyes such that he was able to seen the extent to which Dallas has been idolized. On the other hand, I doesn’t like the notion that the boys were unable to realize their own sense of worth by having a high esteem of the concerning the ideas of Dallas.
The tension between the two rival groups continued to increased after Ponyboy and Johnny came to that abrupt realization. And, Dallas even started to walk around with an gun so as to threaten his enemies.
“Greasers will still be greasers and Socs will still be Socs. Sometimes I think it’s the ones in the middle that are really the lucky stiffs” (Hinton, 1967, p.117). These words were spoken by Randy. He was informing Ponyboy that he will cease to engage in fights in the rumble. I find these words interesting because they signify the futility of the conflicts between the two groups.
Randy brings a good point by suggesting that the recurring Soc-greaser conflict will make them unable to rise above their social identities. This message is important in the story since it signifies the socioeconomic differences that were the root cause of the bitter rivalry between the two gang groups. These disparities between the social classes were the source of the tension between the greasers and the Socs.
Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders. (1967). New York: Viking Press, Dell Publishing.
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