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The Outsiders

English assignment on the book "The Outsiders" - incomplete

Jody Thompson

on 29 August 2013

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Transcript of The Outsiders

The Outsiders
1.A person who does not belong to a particular group.
2.A person not accepted by or isolated from society.
S.E. Hinton
Susan Eloise Hinton started writing the book "The Outsiders" when she was just 15 years old. The book was published in 1967 when she was 18. "The Outsiders" was the first ever book she wrote and published. On the published book, her name is written as' S.E. Hinton'. This is because her publisher thought she should only use her initials so that the first male readers would not dismiss the book because it was written by a female. The name S.E. Hinton had became famous so she continued to write and publish books under her initials and so to keep her public and private lives separate.
What does it mean to be an outsider?
I think an Outsider is someone who is socially unaccepted by society because they are an outcast or because they choose to stand out and be "different".
This can include...
Being separated by:
Your race
Your religion
Where you came from (being a foreigner)
Appearance - what you look like, what you wear, your weight and height and build.
Your physical and mental capabilities
Being separated by money and standard of living
Separated by where you live
Your job
Being socially unaccepted
Language (this includes how you speak and your tone and manner)
Your school, your friends and your education

Context of the novel
The novel is set in Tulsa, Oklahoma (U.S.A) in
The 60s was a time of enormous political and social change.
THE 60s
Vietnam War
John F Kennedy
Martin Luther King Jr.
The Beatles revolutionized the music and fashion of the 1960s. They started new trends and styles that had a big influence on the youth of the 60s all over the world
The Music and Media
The Rolling Stones
The Beach Boys
Bob Dylan
The Bee Gees
Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
Movies and Television
Ponyboy and Me
I don't think there are that many similarities between Ponyboy and myself. I don't think I can relate to him at all because I don't know what it's like to have older siblings or to have my parents dead and I have never run away or gotten caught up in a murder incident or even been close to death so I can't possibly know what he's gone through.

The similarities we share are: our age; interest in nature, movies and poetry; he has a gang of friends and I have a group of friends; also I get pretty good grades in school but I don't use my head mainly because I'm too arrogant, lazy and stubborn to do anything about it.

Differences between us are: I am not the younger sibling; my parents are alive and well; I don't smoke. Also the time and age we live in is different - back then you grew up around the same people your whole life so reputation was very important. He has the gang which are almost like second family to him because they're his friends and they're pretty much who he's grown up with - whereas I'm not really that close to my friends anymore because we move houses and schools and become separated. Also he has a strong bond with the gang whereas I only have sort of mild bonds with about three groups of friends from different places and schools.
Society and class
- The book is based around the inside conflict of the Greasers that are influenced by the rivalry between classes. The Greasers live in the economically struggling East Side (as Ponyboy says "the term 'greaser', which is used to class all us boys on the East Side") whereas the Socs live in the rich, lawn-trimmed houses of the West Side (as Pony defines them: "the jet set, the West-side rich kids").
Family relationships
- One of the main themes of the novel is the relationships between Ponyboy and his older brothers. Ponyboy's parents died not long before the story is told and this has a strong impact on the behaviour and roles of him and his older brothers especially Darry. Ponyboy has a strong relationship with Sodapop who he idolises for his good looks and happy-go-lucky spirit "I love Soda more than I've loved anyone, even Mom and Dad". He complains about his oldest brother Darry because he was never the same after their parents died and he seems stricter than his father ever was. Darry has had to replace the role of his father and look after his brothers and he is very strict because he's trying to protect them. In the end, Ponyboy realises this and the two brothers become closer and more understanding towards each other and also Sodapop who is always caught between their fights. A lot of the boys in the gang also have difficult relationships with their parents such as Johnny who's parents don't care about him and fight all the time.
Gangs and the needs to belong
- For some, the gang is more than a group of friends; it's a place of belonging and even a second family when the love that they need is not provided at home. "We're almost like brothers; when you grow up in a tight-knit neighbourhood like ours you get to know each other real well."
The Greasers are working class people from the East Side of town who steal things and drive old souped-up cars and hold up gas stations and have a gang fight once in a while. The Socs get editorials in the paper for being a public disgrace one day and an asset to society the next. The Socs are from the West Side of town and are just a bunch of bored rich kids with too much time on their hands so they get drunk and jump greasers and wreck houses and throw beer blasts for kicks.

I have no idea if the Greasers are like gangs are like these days because I don't know what gangs are like because I've never really seen one or been in one or seen one on the news (I don't really watch the news).
Greasers vs Socs
Adolescence and the issues teenagers face
Identity, peer pressure, gang violence, child abuse and prejudice are some of the issues teenagers today face. The characters in the novel also deal with these problems. Identity is part of every teenagers life - trying to figure out who you are and where you belong. Finding your identity is part of adolescence and growing up and can be a challenge for many young adults. Most people will try and fit in with the rest. Gangs are formed when people who share a common interest or value will get together and connect smaller friendships into one large group. Usually the people in a gang will all be similar in a way such as age, social status, interests, opinions and values, sport, culture, religion, location and appearance. Gang violence occurs when there is tension between different groups such as the Greasers and the Socs in the novel. Many children today and back then face child abuse from violent parents like Johnny who is usually neglected by his parents and often physically abused by his father.
How the characters deal with their problems
- Cherry making contact with the gang and testifying in court
- Johnny deciding to go back and turn himself in
- Darry dropping out of school to take charge and support the family

- Dally committing suicide after Johnny's death
- Darry slapping Pony
- Pony running away
Considering that so many things in the world have changed from 1960 to 2013, why do the problems teenagers face remain the same?
Because people don't change and even though the music, styles, technologies, beliefs and aspirations may have changed in the last 50 years, the situations for teenagers haven't. The environment is almost exactly the same and so are the situations and family structures. The importance of friends and belonging somewhere hasn't changed because no young person wants to feel alone, isolated, cut off or different. Things like child abuse still happen because adults who were abused by their parents believe the same things and will abuse their own children. Peer pressure occurs because it is all part of adolescence and finding your identity. Teenagers feel the need to belong and are trying to answer the question: where do I belong in society? Peer pressure is like an act of trust. Gangs want to feel they can trust each other and if you aren't like them then you don't belong. Because children want to belong they do what their friends say and this attitude has not changed in the last 50 years. It's the fear of being isolated or the concern of not being with who is "cool" that drives
kids to do irrational things that their peers tell them to.
Sometimes gangs make each other believe things that they think
are right which aren't always right.
1.ornery - ugly and unpleasant in disposition or temper, stubborn, low or vile, inferior or common;ordinary.
E.g. "He gave us an ornery stare"
2.resignedly - submissive or acquiescent, characterized by or indicative of resignation.
E.g. "He shook his head resignedly"
3. ruefully - expressing sorrow or regret, especially in a wry or humorous way
E.g. "He apologized ruefully"
4.cuss - curse
E.g. "They cussed us angrily"
5.stupor - a state of near-unconsciousness or insensibility
E.g. "She was in a drunk stupor"
6.grim - forbidding or uninviting, (of humor) Lacking genuine levity; mirthless; black.
E.g. "His expression was grim"
7.cocky - conceited or arrogant, especially in a bold or cheeky way
E.g. "He had a cocky sense of humor"
8.acquitted - free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty
E.g. "The judge said I was acquitted and that the charges were dropped"
9.indignant - feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment
E.g. "He stared at her indignantly"
10.incredulous - disinclined or indisposed to believe; skeptical, indicating or showing unbelief.
E.g. "She was incredulous of the designs for the new building"
By Jody Thompson
Full transcript