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The Outsiders Discussion Questions

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Emily Knight

on 12 May 2015

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Transcript of The Outsiders Discussion Questions

The Outsiders
Discussion Questions

Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 3 and 4
Chapters 1 and 2
After Reading Questions
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapters 11 and 12
Page 38 - Explain in your own words what Cherry means when she states the difference between Greasers and Socs. From what you've seen so far, do you agree? Why or why not?
Page 40 - What do we learn in
the flashback with Soda and
the horse, Mickey Mouse?

How does it highlight some of
the important Greaser qualities (economics, loyalty, friendship)?

Why do you think Pony shares this story with Cherry?
Page 46 - Why does Cherry say she could fall in love with Dallas? I thought she hated him!

(Hint - go back to pg 27 to see what she says about him, and consider what she said about Socs not
Page 52 - What impact does the lack of love in Johnny's home have on his character? Why isn't the love he gets from
the gang enough to
counteract the
non-love his parents
dole out?
Page 50 - How does it make you feel when Darry slaps Ponyboy? Would you consider him abusive? Johnny gets hit at home – does that make Darry like Johnny's parents?
Page 58 - Does
Johnny make
the right decision
when he fatally
stabs Bob? If he hadn't stabbed Bob, do you think Ponyboy would have died? Did Johnny have any other options besides violence?
Page 62 - What would your advice be to Johnny and Ponyboy if they'd come to you for help instead of Dally? Explain.

Think about the advice Dally gives. What does this say about his character?
Dialect Prejudice
Based on his accent,
how much education
has this person had?
What kind of jobs
do think this person
is qualified for?
How wealthy or poor
is this person?
Stop at page 86:

Cherry says she feels that "the
mess was all her fault." Do you
agree? Why or why not?

Why else might Cherry want to help the Greasers?
Stop on page 88

Pony is afraid of looking "soft," and he describes Johnny as "sensitive." Why are these bad things to be as a Greaser?

How does being a Greaser limit a person's identity?
Stop at page 96:

Jerry thinks that the boys are heroes. Why is Ponyboy reluctant to think of himself as a hero?

Do you think he is heroic? Why/why not?

What about Johnny? Dally?
Stop at page 71:

Why is Pony so upset at getting his hair cut and dyed?

What does hair symbolize for Greasers?
Stop at page 76:

What is the difference between Johnny's hero-worship of Dally and the kinds of heroes that Pony likes?

Why do you think each boy has the preference he has?
Stop on page 77:

What do you think the line "nothing gold can stay" means in the context of
The Outsiders
? What are some "gold" things that must change?
Stop at page 103:
Why would being
crippled be worse
for Johnny than someone else? In what ways would it affect his life?
Stop at page 107:

Why would Two-Bit think Johnny, Dally, and Pony were heroes all along, before they saved the kids?

Why do you think the newspaper headline said they "turned" heroes?
Stop at page 116: What was Bob's ‘real' problem, according to Randy? Do you think this was the real reason behind his actions?
Stop at page 118: Why did Pony think it was better to see socs as "just guys"? What do you think he means by this?
Stop at page 121:

What does Pony mean when he says, "We needed Johnny as much as he needed the gang. And for the same reason."

We know how the gang helps Johnny; how does Johnny help the gang?
Stop at page 126:

Why does Two Bit say Darry could be a Soc?

What Soc qualities does Ponyboy have?

How do the labels
limit people's identities?
Stop at page 130:

What does Cherry mean when she says Bob "wasn't just anyone"?
Stop at page 132:

Why does Ponyboy feel dissatisfied with being a Greaser? What comment is he making about how society judges people?

Despite this, why does he still want to fight in the rumble?
Stop at page 134:

If Pony doesn't like to fight and doesn't want to be a Greaser, why does he want so badly to fight in the rumble?
Stop at page 137:

Do you agree with Ponyboy that the only good reason to fight is self defense?
Stop at page 142:

What is the significance of Paul Holden coming up to fight Darry? How does this affect Darry? What theme do you think Hinton is suggesting with this confrontation? Should it even happen at all? Why or why not?
Stop at page 148:

Look back at the poem on page 77. What does "nothing gold can stay" mean? What does Johnny mean when he tells Ponyboy to "stay gold"?
Stop at page 145:

Think back to the scene when Pony and Johnny got jumped by Randy and Bob. What was the mood of that scene? How is the mood of the rumble different than that scene?
Stop at page 152:

Why is what happened to Johnny so difficult for Dally to handle? Explain Dally's character and what Pony means when he says Johnny was the only thing Dally loved.
Stop at page 155:

What does Ponyboy mean when he says there is "Nothing we can do... for any of us"?

What does Dally's death by the cops suggest for the rest of the Greasers (think theme)
Stop at page 162:

Why does Ponyboy hope Bob's parents hate the Greasers?
Stop at page 166:

What is Ponyboy's tone, or attitude as a narrator during this chapter? Is it a positive or negative tone? How does he feel about life right now?
Stop at page 172:

How does Pony behave differently when the Socs confront him than he did before (on page 45)? Why does this worry Two Bit?

Why is Two Bit relieved when he sees Pony picking up the glass?
Stop at page 177:

How do Darry and Pony play tug-of-war with Soda? What does Soda want Darry to understand about Pony and Pony to understand about Darry?
Stop on page 80:

What does Johnny want Dally to know about the world? Why does he want Dally to watch a sunset? How does Johnny’s letter inspire Pony for his English assignment?
Page 9:

Describe Darry and Soda. How are they the same/different? How does Pony have different relationships with them?

Page 12

Why is the gang important to Johnny? What other benefits might the other boys get out of being a part of the gang?
Page 18

Do you think Darry loves Ponyboy? Why do you think he treats Ponyboy the way he does?

BONUS: Do you ever "lie to yourself" the way Pony does? About what?
Page 21:

What does Ponyboy mean when he says he's "heard that tone before too many times"? What is wrong with what the Soc girl said?

Do you think she meant to be hurtful? Why or why not?
Page 29:

According to Two-Bit, why don't Socs fight fair? How is that different from how Greasers fight?
Page 33:

Why does Dally looks so sick and upset when they find Johnny, if he's seen similar violence on the streets of New York before?
Page 36:

What does Cherry mean when she states "things are rough all over"? What kinds of problems might her and the other Socs have? Do you think one group has it worse than the other, or are they just different?
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