The OutsidersBook - 1997
From Library Staff
Hinton’s novel, which describes in gritty detail the ongoing gang warfare between the lower-class Greasers and the well-to-do Socials, didn’t have much to do with romance or horses, unless you count her protagonist, the 14-year-old Greaser Ponyboy Curtis. But it was a hit with teenagers across th... Read More »
From the critics
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And even as the policemen's guns spit fire into the night I knew that was what Dally wanted…He was dead before he hit the ground. But I knew that was what he wanted even as the lot echoed with the cracks of shots, even as I begged silently—please, not him… not him and Johnny both—I knew he would be dead, because Dally Winston wanted to be dead and he always got what he wanted. Nobody would write editorials praising Dally. Two friends of mine died that night: one a hero, the other a hoodlum. 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. And now he was a dead juvenile delinquent and there wouldn’t be any editorials in his favour. Dally didn't die a hero. He died violent and young and desperate, just like we knew he'd die someday…But Johnny was right. He died gallant.
- Page 154
That's why people don't ever think to blame the Socs and are always ready to jump on us. We look hoody and they look decent. It could be just the other way around—half the hoods I know are pretty decent guys underneath all that grease, and from what I've heard, a lot of Socs are just cold-blooded mean—but people usually go by looks.
- Page 141
As we walked out into the hall, we saw Johnny’s mother…She was a little woman, with straight black hair and big black eyes like Johnny's. But that was as far as the resemblance went. Johnnycake's eyes were fearful and sensitive; hers were cheap and hard. As we passed her she was saying, "But I have a right to see him. He's my son. After all the trouble his father and I've gone to raise him, this is our reward! He'd rather see those no-count hoodlums than his own folks…" She saw us and gave us such a look of hatred that I almost backed up. "It was your fault. Always running around in the middle of the night getting jailed and heaven knows what else…" I though she was going to cuss us out. I really did.
Two-Bit's eyes got narrow and I was afraid he was going to start something…"No wonder he hates your guts," Two-Bit snapped.
- Page 123
"Johnny. Johnny, I ain't mad at you. I just don't want you to get hurt. You don't know what a few months in jail can do to you. Oh, blast it, Johnny, you get hardened in jail. I don't want that to happen to you. Like it happened to me…" - Dallas Winston
Dally: Hey, I didn't tell you we got us a spy.
Johnny: A spy? Who?
Dally: That good-lookin' broad I tried to pick up that night you killed the Soc. The redhead, Cherry what's-her-name.
"Stop it!" Johnny gasped from between clenched teeth. "Shut up about last night! I killed a kid last night. He couldn't have been over seventeen or eighteen, and I killed him. How'd you like to live like that?" He was crying. I held him like Soda had held him the day we found him lying in the lot.
- Page 74
"I killed him," [Johnny] said slowly. "I killed that boy."
Bob, the handsome Soc, was lying there in the moonlight, doubled up and still. A dark pool was growing from him, spreading slowly over the blue-white cement. I looked at Johnny's hand. He was clutching his switchblade, and it was dark to the hilt. My stomach gave a violent jump and my bloody turned icy…
"You really killed him, huh, Johnny?"
"Yeah." His voice quavered slightly. "I had to. They were drowning you, Pony. They might have killed you. And they had a blade… they were gonna beat me up…"
- Pages 56-57
He should never yell at Soda. Nobody should ever holler at my brother. I exploded. "You don't yell at him!" I shouted.
Darry wheeled around and slapped me so hard that it knocked me against the door.
Suddenly it was deathly quiet. We had all frozen. Nobody in my family had ever hit me. Nobody. Soda was wide-eyed. Darry looked at the palm of his hand where it had turned red and then looked back at me. His eyes were huge. "Ponyboy…"
I turned and ran out the door and the street as fast as I could. Darry screamed, "Pony, I didn’t mean to!" but I was at the lot by then and pretended I couldn't hear it. I was running away. It was plain to me that Darry didn't want me around. And I wouldn't stay if he did. He wasn't ever going to hit me again.
- Page 50
"It's not just money. Part of it is, but not all. You greasers have a different set of values. You're more emotional. We're sophisticated—cool to the point of not feeling anything. Nothing is real with us…Rat race is a perfect name for it. We're always going and going and going, and never asking where. Did you ever hear of having more than you wanted? So that you couldn't want anything else and then started looking for something else to want? It seems like we're always searching for something to satisfy us, and never finding it." - Cherry Valance
"Hey," I said suddenly, "can you see the sunset real good from the West Side?"
She blinked, startled, then smiled. "Real good."
"You can see it good from the East Side, too," I said quietly.
- Page 130
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability View All Ages
Other: Some mature content: all the stuff named below, life and what it really means, being drunk, extreme sorrow, smoking cigarettes, anger, theft, police killing Dally.
Frightening or Intense Scenes: The church burning, the deaths of Bob, Johnny, and Dally, the greaser vs. Soc fights.
Violence: Guns, fistfights, rumbles, murder, stabbing, severe injuries, death.
Coarse Language: Doesn't actually say any swear words, just mentions that Dally or Tim Shepard says a bunch of bad words Pony doesn't want to repeat.
Other: Most of the kids smoke regularly, and I believe there's a mention of drugs.
Violence: Just fighting, and a lot of talk about beating each other up, or pulling out pocketknives.
SummaryAdd a Summary
Warning: Spoiler alert!
The Outsiders, a novel by S.E Hinton is a thrilling, emotional, and tragic adventure. The story of the Greasers and the Socs is told from the perspective of Ponyboy Curtis, a young greaser. Although he has the hair and clothes of a gangster, he has the heart of a learner and loves books and films. In this book Ponyboy goes on an amazing adventure from hanging out with some lady Socs, to running from the police. Pulling off a daring rescue, only to have a loved one die.
The story of The Outsiders takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma the hometown of S.E Hinton. Ponyboy lives with 2 older brothers, their parents having been killed in an accident. The greaser gang is very close, you could even call them a family. During rescues and rumbles they repeatedly prove their loyalty to each other in numerous ways. Running from the police causes more danger than they thought, and with the death of a beloved friend comes the insanity and death of another.
When you first start the book, it seems as though it would be very violent. But once you read a bit more you realize it’s really a story about finding yourself, and about relationships and how hard it can be to live the life of a Greaser.
During this well told tale Ponyboy struggles to find his true self. He lives the life of a greaser, but dreams of something more.
One of the key themes I found in this book is that we’re all human. They aren't just 'that Soc’, or ‘that Greaser.’ Everyone has their own personalities and characteristics, even if they can't or won't show it. And that was one of my favourite things about the book.
The Outsiders is really well written and detailed down to every paragraph. The book being written through Ponyboy’s eyes and ears makes it a lot easier for teens and young adults to relate to the story. Also, there is swearing but it only suggests that someone swore, so that made it, for me, a much more enjoyable book than if it had actual swearing.
I really enjoyed this story. It’s so well told you have trouble putting it down, especially at the most dramatic parts. But really there’s only violence because it tells the story, and the book wouldn't be the same without it. I would definitely recommend this book to all young adults and teens who are looking for an excellent, adventurous, yet realistic book or for those who are pressured by society and peers. This book was really interesting for me and sad too, but it teaches a very good lesson, though depending on the person the moral might be a bit different.
Two cultural groups, the greasers and the Socs (short for Socials), fight for dominance in their city neighbourhood. The poverty-stricken greasers care about each other, while the rich Socs carry themselves with a cold and unemotional cruelty.
Darry, Sodapop, and Ponyboy are three orphaned greaser brothers, fighting to remain under the radar of social services. 20-something-year-old Darry struggles with taking care of his younger siblings, Soda struggles with dropping out of school to get a job, and Pony struggles with whether or not Darry really loves him. It's a fight for acceptance.
Rumbles break out in the streets sometimes, but usually nothing other than a few bruises and cuts are sustained. Only usually, though. When a group of drunk Socs beat up young Johnny Cade in an alley, leaving him half-dead, the greasers get on their guard. If it happened once, it could happen again.
An exception to the Socs' norm, seventeen-year-old Cherry Valance meets Ponyboy and Johnny at a movie theatre. They become friends, but Cherry's boyfriend Bob hates the two greasers for speaking to his sweetheart.
Later, he and his friends get drunk and trap Pony and Johnny in a park. Acting on instinct, Johnny pulls out his switchblade and knifes Bob to stop him from killing Pony. The Socs flee, but the damage is done. Bob is dead, and Johnny killed him.
Ponyboy and Johnny run from the police, eventually finding refuge in an abandoned church. But bad turns to worse, and the church catches on fire with several children trapped inside. Pony and Johnny try to save the youngsters, but on the way out Johnny is struck by a piece of falling timber and is severely injured. The EMS arrives and takes the two heroes to a hospital. Ponyboy turns to be uninjured. When Darry comes to visit him, he finally realizes that his stern older brother really just was worried about him—and truly loved him.
But bad turns to worse and Johnny dies from his injuries. Stricken by grief and blinded by rage, Dallas Winston, a greaser who was especially close to Johnny, breaks into a grocer and steals several things. The police chase him to an abandoned lot, and that is when worse turns to worst. Dally pulls out an unloaded gun just to scare the officers away, but the cops shoot him down in mere seconds. Another greaser is dead.
Ponyboy finds himself giving up in the face of such tragedy. Why should he try, if anything he ever tried for has just shattered before his eyes?
The story of ultimate love, forgiveness, and acceptance is cleverly concluded by masterful author S.E. Hinton, bringing all characters to a final culmination.
A teen gang in rural Oklahoma, the Greasers hate the Soc, a rival group. When Greasers Ponyboy and Johnny get into a fight that ends in the death of a Soc member, the boys are forced to go and hide. Soon Ponyboy and Johnny, along with the intense Dallas and their other Greaser buddies, must contend with the consequences of their violent lives. While some Greasers try to achieve redemption, others meet tragic ends.
The Greasers and Socs have been rivals for years. Two gangs, two sides, two classes, and one war. Ponyboy is part of the Greasers. One day when coming home late, his brother Darry gets angry and slaps him. Upon running away and almost getting drowned in a fountain by a Soc, Johnny (his friend) accidentally stabs and kills the Soc to prevent Ponyboy from dying. Now they are on the run. After hiding out in a church and changing their identity, Dallas finds them. At the end, when Johnny dies and Dally kills himself in his anger of his death, Ponyboy knows that in life there are ups and downs. Even if they were outsiders they would exist. Forever.
The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider.
This story is about a gang of friends, particularly one member, that live in the poor side of town. The poor side is dangerous and looked down upon. Teens that inhabit the poor side are called "Greasers", due to all the product they put in their hair and how poor they are. The "Greasers" tend to get in fights, drink alcohol, and cause trouble. The "Greasers" main enemy are the "Socs" (Socialites), richer kids from the nice side of town. Both groups fight constantly and they treat each other horribly.
The one member of the gang of "Greasers" that the story focuses on is PonyBoy Curtis. PonyBoy doesn't like fighting and doesn't really fit in with the other "Greasers." The problem is thats all he has ever known. He goes to a movie with a couple of the gang and two of the "Soc" girls are there. PonyBoy makes acquaintances with one of the girls and the girl's boyfriend happens to catch PonyBoy with the girl. Later Pony boy is with a friend and the boyfriend of the girl starts beating PonyBoy and Johnny (the friend) up. In self defense Johnny accidentally kills the boyfriend...... This starts a Feud between the two groups if there wasn't already one.
Ponyboy Curtis is on the bad side of town. The side where people are looked down on, where the cops pull over especially just to pick on you because of the way you look. Faced with being smart in a world where smart is bad, poor in a world where poor is bad, and the rut of all his family and friends, he makes some bad decisions might not be so bad in the end.
Yes, I did like this book I also agree with Miguel because I can picture like a movie in my head for the whole book. We have just finished a book called, “The Outsiders” by S.E. a realistic-fiction book. In this book the protagonist is Ponyboy and he is a greaser. Ponyboy also has a gang, he also have friends that are in the gang. Some of his friends are Two Bit, Dally, Darry, Soda boy, and Johnny. There is another gang called the Soc. The soc hated the greasers because the greasers have long and greasy hair. The soc also look at them like there are poor. The greasers look at them like they are rich because the soc have blue mustangs, corvairs, and etc. The problem in the book is that the greasers are keeping on getting jumped by the soc. One time Ponyboy and Johnny went to the park to have a talk and a corvair pulled up. One of the soc tried to drown Ponyboy; however, Johnny had a switch blade and killed him and pulled Ponyboy out from the water. The rest of the soc ran back to their corvairs and sped away. Ponyboy was surprised what Johnny had done, he saw that there was a body laying there and a whole pool of blood. Johnny had to escape out of this town other wise the police would come after him and send him to prison for the rest of his life, Ponyboy and Johnny didn’t want that to happen so they went to Dally for advice. After when they had escaped, Dally gave them a gun, money, and Dally’s leather jacket. Dally gave his leather jacket to Ponyboy. When Ponyboy and Johnny got to the place that Dally had told them to go, which was a very old church. They had lived there, then Dally came to meet them and invited to a restaurant to talk. After that when they came back to the church, the church was on fire with some little kids inside it. The people had told Ponyboy and Johnny that they went on for a picnic and all of a sudden a fire had started. Ponyboy and Johnny had rushed in to save the kids after that a big piece of amber fell onto Johnny’s back. Ponyboy’s back was on fire but he didn’t feel it because Dally had given him a leather jacket. Dally ran in and knocked Ponyboy out because his back was on fire and carried Johnny out of the burning church. (I am going to end here because I don’t want to give away the ending.)
In mid-1960s Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Greasers are a gang of tough, low-income teens. They include Ponyboy Curtis (Howell) and his two older brothers, Soda (Lowe) and Darry (Swayze), as well as Johnny Cade (Macchio), Dally Winston (Dillon), Two-Bit Matthews (Estevez), and Steve Randle (Cruise). Their rivalry is with the Socs (pronounced "soashes"), a gang of wealthier kids.
Ponyboy Curtis, the fourteen-year-old narrator, lives with his older brothers Sodapop and Darry, since their parents passed away in a car accident. They are all members of a Greaser gang, meaning they are considered hoods or juvenile delinquents by society. Other than being financially and socially disadvantaged, the Greasers' main problem is getting jumped by the Socs, the rich kids from the West Side. The other members of the Greaser gang are Johnny Cade, Dally Winston, Two-Bit Mathews, and Steve Randle.
Later that night, Ponyboy and Johnny accidentally fall asleep in their favorite vacant lot. Ponyboy runs home, but when Darry scolds him and hits him for the first time, he goes back to find Johnny. They are jumped by Bob, Randy, and other Socs, and during the fight Johnny stabs and kills Bob to stop him from drowning Ponyboy in a fountain. Panicked, Ponyboy and Johnny find Dally, who they know will help them. He gives them some money and a gun and tells them to get on a train to Windrixville and hide out in a deserted church.
Ponyboy and Johnny stay at the church for about a week, during which time they cut off their long Greaser hair as a disguise and subsist mainly on baloney. Dally comes to meet them eventually, and takes them out to get burgers. While they are out, Johnny decides to turn himself in. But when the characters get back to the church, they find it's on fire. A school group had been having a picnic there, and some children are trapped inside. Ponyboy and Johnny run in and save the children, but Johnny is caught across the back by a burning piece of timber.
Soda and Darry come to the hospital to pick up Ponyboy, and they learn that Dally's arm is burned and Johnny is in critical condition. The boys go home because there is a rumble against the Socs that they need to attend. Ponyboy feels sick, but decides to go to the rumble anyway. Dally escapes from the hospital to fight in the rumble, and the Greasers win.
Dally takes Ponyboy back to the hospital to visit Johnny, who is dying. Before he dies, Johnny tells Ponyboy, "Stay gold," meaning he shouldn't lose the innocence of childhood, and should avoid becoming hardened like Dally. Dally is extremely emotional after Johnny's death, since he loved Johnny, and runs off. Ponyboy is feeling even sicker, but has to go home and tell the rest of the gang that Johnny is dead.
Dally calls the Curtis house from a payphone to say that he's robbed a grocery store and the cops are chasing him. The whole gang runs to the vacant lot, and sees Dally approaching from the other side, followed by cop cars. Dally pulls out his gun on the cops, and they shoot him, killing him. Ponyboy passes out and is delirious and sick for the rest of the weekend.
He wakes up in bed, and is in denial over Johnny's death. He has to go to court to testify about the events surrounding it, and is acquitted and allowed to continue living with Darry and Soda, rather than being sent to a boys' home. But things are not the same for him; his world is upside-down, and his grades start to slip. Darry confronts Ponyboy and brings up his failing grades, and a huge fight commences between them. Soda is upset by all the fighting, and runs out of the house.
Darry and Ponyboy find Soda in the vacant lot, and he tells them he can't stand how they fight all the time, since they'll only survive if they stick together. All they have is each other. Darry and Ponyboy hadn't realized their fighting upset Soda so much, and they vow to get along and take care of each other. Ponyboy has to decide what to write about for his semester theme in English class, and he decides to write The Outsiders as a warning to other boys at risk to turn their lives around before it's too late.